This just in from our global online tribe: “I am trying to listen to God, especially this month during your series on listening to God, but still feel empty because my dream of having meaningful relationships, a good career, and financial security have not materialized.”
I am very sorry to hear about this person’s piercing pain and have pledged to pray for him. What follows here are my thoughts on his heart-wrenching comment.
EVERY Christian—you, me, your pastor…everyone–has a catalog of dashed hopes and dreams flickering through their mind’s cinema. Time only aggravates the discomfort that, with each day’s sunset, is like snatching a band-aid from the grip of an open wound.
So how do we respond when a glance into our rear-view mirror is spackled with darkness and surrounded by jagged edges of despair?
RELEASE OUR ASPIRATIONAL LIFE
At some point, the sooner the better, we must bury our unrealized and aspirational dreams so we can tend to the holy soil provided by God and begin moving toward what he has planned for us:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Part of the human condition is to long for something that never comes. This is the hardest longing to shake. Real events in life, though difficult to forget, are somehow easier to release than dreams and hopes that are more abstract because they are only in our mind and heart.
We must release the unrealized because it is the ONLY way to focus on what LIES AHEAD.
FOCUS ON THE ROAD AHEAD
There is more to every Christian’s story than can be experienced now.
“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15:19
Focusing on what’s ahead is a WAITING GAME into the unknown. What is the one thing we know with certainty? The hope of Christ and a life in his arms for eternity lies ahead.
Life does NOT end with our departure from this earth. It begins with our arrival in Heaven.
I ask God to help me understand that my dreams are not what animate my faith walk and determine my joy. That only when I connect with his plan for my life can I be content and motivated to live out my life purpose for him and his Kingdom.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
What dream for your life has not materialized? What prayer can you pray to move past your disappointment? Are you LISTENING for God’s plan for your life?
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…” Philippians 3:13