Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
When you were a child, what did you want to be? What kind of bold and fanciful dreams filled your imagination as you thought of that day when you would be ‘all grown-up’?
Were you gifted with a very active imagination? And so throughout childhood years, you had many different dreams of a future career: teacher, astronaut, geological scientist, movie actor and world traveller—to name a few.
Whatever we dreamed of becoming, those early ideas gave us a desire to work hard and hope for a bright, happy future. Dreams give us the extra energy we need to realise our faraway goal. Consider the would-be doctor who studies biology when the other kids are outside playing. Or the future National Rugby League star or concert pianist who practices extra-long hours when others have quit for the day.
Have you stopped dreaming?
In the movie Billy Elliott, a young boy who loves to dance fights the odds and overcomes obstacles—most notably the vigorous disapproval of his father—to realise his dream. Billy has a long, arduous road to travel, but his dream keeps him going despite his challenges. This wonderful movie will encourage anyone who has a dream to keep reaching for it, and inspire those who have stopped dreaming to once again imagine what could be.
Our lives, like that of Billy Elliott, are full of obstacles—people and circumstances that try to tell us our dreams are impossible, unrealistic or, as in Billy’s case, that there is something wrong with trying to fulfil them. The tragedy is that far too many people in our society have fallen victim to these negative influences and have come to believe that their dreams are unattainable.
I once heard of an 87-year-old woman who decided she wanted a university degree, despite the objections of some that a person her age should not be attempting university studies. This remarkable woman realised her dreams and shared her wisdom with the younger students: “You’ve got to have a dream”, she told them. “When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!”
The ability to dream, to imagine, to create a vision of the future is a unique gift. No other creature on earth possesses it. It is God’s gift to us as human beings. If we feel like we have lost the ability to dream, we need to take a look at the One who gave us this divine quality in the first place.
God has big dreams for you
God dreams. He ‘dreamed’ of you and all you could be before you were even born (Jeremiah 1:5). He created you to be uniquely you—there has never been, nor will there ever be, another you (Psalm 139:13-16). God wants to open your eyes to all that he can do in your life, which is more than you or I are even capable of imagining (Ephesians 3:20). God has dreamed, and is still dreaming, big dreams for you: “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).
Our world is not always kind to dreamers. I think of the innumerable ‘Billy Elliotts’ out there whose family or circumstances seem to stand in the way of their dreams. But then I am reminded of God, the Master Dreamer, who has an imagination and creativity far greater than my own. And I remember that he is still dreaming—dreaming of me and all I can be with his help.
God doesn’t promise a life without difficulties, but he does promise that his plans for you and me will ultimately lead to joy, fulfilment and a future filled with hope. Have you considered the dreams of God lately?
Faith Builders – Faith & Friends – May 2001