Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dreams Really Do Come True

Do you remember your childhood dreams of what you wanted to be?  Maybe it was a doctor, veterinarian, actor, or mechanic but whatever it was it brought a sparkle to your eyes.  No matter what you could see yourself doing it.  Just recently, I had a conversation with my youngest son, Caleb, about what he wanted to be when he was an adult?  I was really surprised at Caleb’s response.  He said, “I want to be a police officer or a fireman because they save people’s lives.”   I responded, “That’s a marvelous dream but have you asked God about it.”  “He responded, “No, but I will.”  So, he bowed his head and prayed.  As we continued the conversation, I advised, we will keep praying for God to answer us about your dream.”  Caleb said, “Why do we have to keep praying?” “I just prayed about it, God will answer.”  Boy, wasn’t I rebuked by my son, what faith he has. 
     As I type this blog today, I am pursing my dream to fulfill God’s calling on my life.  Honestly, I feel really old to pursue this especially with my birthday a few days away, but I have decided not to hold back.  At the age of 14, God placed a dream within my heart to preach the Gospel of Christ.  I don’t doubt God’s desire but I have doubted my ability to complete it.   But I guess who hasn’t doubted the Lord’s call or dream within one’s life.  Most of the famous patriarchs have doubted their ability to do what God desired: Moses, Gideon, Joshua, and Joseph.
          Nevertheless, I started thinking about the call of Joseph; he was very young at the time of his dream, 17 according to scripture. (Genesis 37:2)  Joseph was the favorite child of Jacob who purchased a beautiful coat of many colors.  Besides the love of his father, Joseph receives a dream from the Lord about his future.  All of this attention caused his brothers to hate him, so they rejected him.  The spirit of rejection was so instilled within; they decided to physically remove Joseph from the family.  Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him but they decide a different plot.  Joseph comes to find his brothers to assist them but they destroy him.  They stripped him of his beautiful robe and placed him into a cistern while they eat.  While they dine, they get a revelation as the Ishmaelite’s come to town to sell him into slavery.  Can you image being betrayed by your own brothers this way? 
    Joseph’s brothers didn’t understand his dream, they even teased Joseph among themselves by calling him, “Dreamer”.  Jacob kept the matter in his heart but he questioned Joseph’s dream.  So, Joseph had to trust God to complete it.  Joseph’s own family didn’t understand the dream or what God’s intentions were.   Keep in mind, everyone will not support your call or dream for your life.  Understandably, we desire to have our family and close friends to support us with our desires.  But what if they don’t?  Is it worth pursuing with no one behind you but God?  What is God calling you too?
     I admit, I have allowed fear to cripple my abilities to reach for the dream but inside my heart it burns.  No matter what I do or the length of time spent, I can’t stop yearning to complete it.  Sometimes, I have tried to ignore it or convince myself the call never happened but I know it did.  After graduating from high school, my dad asked what I was planning to do after school.  My father wasn’t very happy about my choice; I was going to Bible College to prepare to become a minister.   He angrily advised, “You don’t have my support in your decision.”  And he stormed out of the room without another word.  Besides my father, I have received harsh criticism from other pastors, ridiculed, and advised to forget this call because I am a woman. 
     Although Joseph was faced with very harsh realities, he still trusted God.  Joseph remained faithful to God, committed to the tasks before him, and didn’t get a bitter spirit through it all.  Once Joseph was sold into slavery, he ended up at Potiphar’s house.  Even while being a slave, Joseph was promoted to trust in the care of the slaves and the household.  He remained faithful to God’s word, although he was tempted to stray.  He didn’t sin against God or try to destroy Potiphar’s name or marriage because of his circumstances.  Potiphar’s wife tried numerous times for Joseph to sin with his body by having sex with her.  Joseph chooses the right path by running away but it still caused some personal grief.  People will try to prevent your dream from coming true.  They will try to tempt you to stray, attack your character, or cause other's to doubt your ability. 
     Although his character was attacked for doing right, Joseph still was placed in prison.  But God wasn’t done with Joseph’s life.  Joseph’s dream would start the journey of his life but his gift would be used to fulfill his life.  Despite all of the hardships, Joseph's call was still evident through the interpretted dreams of the baker and the cupbearer.  Although the dreams were prophetic of what would occur for these men, Joseph was used by God.  Joseph asked for the cupbearer to remember him but he forgot him.   So, Joseph had to wait two more years, he was still waiting for God to fulfill His promise.  The waiting period is very difficult, I understand this completely.  But I would rather wait on God to open the doors then to create havoc, like Abraham and Sarah with Ishmael.  Instead of waiting for God’s promise, they tried to fulfill God’s promise with their own wisdom and ability.  Their impatience not only destroyed their family but the nation of Israel.  God’s timing is always best but He is preparing your for the dream. 
        Your future isn’t dependent on man who will forget you, God never forgets you.  It can sometimes feel this way but God is teaching you valuable lessons to prepare for the big picture.  In Genesis 50:20 says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
     And the Joseph realized God was preparing him for the best options in life: to protect his people and to make him the right hand of the pharaoh.  God has good intentions towards us; He is preparing us for great things.  It’s sometimes in the prison, we learn the meaning of life: to trust God.  Your life’s dream will be fulfilled, if God promised it.  It is done.  However, I can’t guarantee how long you have to wait but be faithful in all things.  God will fulfill it.  Your responsibility is to trust God, be faithful with your work, don’t get bitter over the circumstance.  You could be one call away from the door being opened, but your attitude could be what’s holding you back.  What’s the dream worth to you?  Although it cost your reputation, your family’s blessings, or your life will you keep the dream?  If God is the only One who will support you, can you pursue it?  Dreams can come true but only through faith in God.