I woke up startled…I had no idea what was going on. I looked around trying to figure out where I was. I could faintly make out the room, but I knew it was familiar. I was still in my work uniform and my backpack was on the floor. I let out a sigh of relief…I had fallen asleep on the sofa. I was safe at home, but for some reason I couldn’t shake the strange dream that pulled me out of a deep sleep. It was unlike any other dream I’d had in the past. I wanted so desperately to go back to sleep, to find out the ending…but I couldn’t. It haunted me for the rest of the day and the next evening I found myself back in another dream, back in a place of unanswered questions and surreal possibilities. There was no way this was accidental. God was trying to get my attention. I tried to just shut it out of my mind completely, but I couldn’t. God was sending me a strong message and at the time I wanted nothing more than to ignore Him, to ignore the possibility that my dreams might be true. I was tired and afraid and the last person I wanted help from was the Lord.
My teenage years were difficult. I faced a lot of change in my family and my fair share of heartache. Even though I was young, those instances impacted my life and contributed to who I am today. There were times during those years where I felt as though God was distant and unconcerned with my struggles. Instead of trusting my faith, I began pulling away from what I knew to be true. I guess I expected God to retreat as well, but instead I saw the amazing grace of God chase after me with intense chivalry. For the first time in my life, I felt the magnitude of God’s love for me and it came in the form of a dream. Many dreams. Some of them were literal dreams during my sleep and some of them were dreams of the heart. The kind that stirred something so deep in my spirit and left me wanting nothing more than for His will to be accomplished in my life.
Tonight as Barry and I were coming home from our high school small group, we started talking about dreams of the heart. There was a time for both of us where we felt completely lifeless and unable to dream. It was hard and to be honest, very sad. It felt as though we became robotic in our thinking and dull in our faith. But what is strange is that we were crying out for God to awaken our hearts, to give us dreams and an excitement about the ministry. But, we spent almost a year and a half with nothing. Things that we loved such as missions and worship all seemed distant and faded. But why? Why did we have that season? Why would the same God who went to such great lengths to draw me close to Him in my teenage years suddenly seem to hide when Barry and I were seeking Him?
As I have been reading about the life of Joseph this week, I realized that there are no dreams of his own recorded during his time in prison. However, he played an important role in the dreams of others. As a young man he dreamed that he would one day rule over his family. His siblings hated him for this and the favor on his life, so they sold him into slavery. He later ended up in jail when he refused to sleep with his boss’s wife. The poor guy, all he was trying to do was please God and do the right thing. I’m sure while he was serving time; he probably scoffed at the thought of ever seeing his dreams come true. But, God didn’t scoff; instead He gave dreams to other men. Dreams that only Joseph could unlock the meaning to. And those dreams, actually led Joseph to the place of not only ruling over his family, but saving their lives! Those years of serving and being obedient laid the ground work for God to put Joseph in his rightful place. The place that he dreamed of years before.
So, when dreams evade you…think about Joseph. Think about his story and the long road he faced before his dreams become a reality. If you are in the place of serving another man’s dream, ask God to draw near and to place His favor upon your life and upon the work that you have dedicated yourself to. But, don’t lose heart or think that you have been forgotten. Remember, you may be unlocking the dreams of others, so that God can bring yours to fruition.