“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).
Unfortunately, when tragedy, pandemics, or other unexpected difficulties come our way, our plans change, and things we were looking forward to are cancelled. When something very important to us keeps getting put off, our heart sinks. We wait. We hope. We pray. But nothing changes. Even our God-given dreams can get delayed month after month. Personally, I have had five trips and seven conferences cancelled that I was very excited about. When each one gets postponed, my spirit groans.
But the Lord says that a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. When I began to realize that a large part of my ministry could not happen for at least nine months, I asked the Holy Spirit to give me new dreams. He obviously knew that all the troubles going on in the world would affect travel plans and other significant events. But He wants to continue to work in and through our lives. I asked the Lord to give me new dreams. God-given dreams bring life to us and others! He began to unfold His plans for the focus He wants me to have the rest of the year. Little by little, as I pray, He is also revealing the details of this new dream. “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord upholds them by His hand” (Psalm 37:23-24 NLT).
Though at times I feel a bit sad that I will not see my dear friends in other countries, the Lord is comforting my heart. We can bring our disappointments to Him. He understands and He cares. If you are struggling with the question “Why Lord?”, that is okay too. Bring it to Him. He wants to comfort the heart that is “sick.” But as you continue to seek Him, He also wants to give you new dreams and hope for tomorrow.
God promises to guide your every action as you take steps to achieve His will. The catch is to seek God’s dreams for you, not your own dreams. As He knows you better than you know yourself, and He wired you from conception to live out His will, you can trust Him that His plans will bring you a satisfying and fulfilling life.
Here is an application step for you. This week pray every day for God to show you your next steps. What are the God-given dreams He has for you for the days, months, and possibly year ahead? Ask a close friend or family member who knows you well to pray for you. As things come to your mind, talk to this person about it. See if she/he brings a confirmation to what you sense God is telling you. Spend time in the Word to allow Him to use Scripture during your time of seeking. As new dreams come, begin to take steps toward these new dreams.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).
Today’s Bible Reading: Proverbs 13:12 and Jeremiah 29:11
By Sue Corl and Doug Kozub