Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dream Realized, Work BEGINS!


Honestly, when I first wrote about "Dreams" I did not intend for it to become a series. But other thoughts begged to be written! (Here is Part 1: Dream a Little Dream and Part 2: Dream Gone Sideways )

Here's my thought today: In most cases once our Dream is realized, that is when the work REALLY BEGINS!

By "dreams" I am talking about those things we dream to do for God to contribute to building HIS KINGDOM. Maybe it's a new ministry (missionary, pastor {pastor's wife! ;) }, an adoption, orphan care, care of widows, the director of a pregnancy center, inner city ministry, prison ministry...I could go on and on). Often so much energy goes into the REALIZATION of the dream, that our energy is expended even before we start. We've spent sleepless nights praying like we never prayed before for provision and culmination. We've been on a paper chase, we've had to rely on God to move through the people that needed to see our dream too, we've had to trust in ways we've never had to trust before. We've suffered spiritual warfare and "push back".

FINALLY, our dream is realized. The right people said "yes", provision "came", we're over the moon with joy! The only pain in that moment is our "happy headache!" We enjoy a really nice "honeymoon", and our adrenaline makes us feel "super-human".

But at some point, the NEW becomes the NORMAL and our mortal bodies get tired. Now we're living in the HARD. In unguarded moments we might be tempted to think and say, "What have I DONE?" "Why did I think it would be a good idea to leave my former, peaceful life and BLOW.IT.UP?" "I didn't know it would be this HARD." We are officially at the end of ourselves!!

And you know what? At the end of ourselves can be the BEST place to be. In that moment we are desperate for God to show up! We have no energy of our own. We are depleted. We know if God doesn't strengthen us and give us His wisdom, that we won't be able to continue ANOTHER MINUTE.

When our own resources and strength are gone, then we KNOW we are living in the supernatural! We KNOW it is not us, but GOD. We wake up, no worry of forgetting to fall on our faces before God and beg for His mercies! We are searching the Bible for His promises that we can claim, we're spending time in worship needing to fill ourselves with the truth of Who God is and to put our focus on praising Him and claiming those truths, we determining to pray our way through the day (because that's the only way we'll make it through the WHOLE 24 hours)!

AND, in those moments when it's just so hard and you are just so tired and you wonder why in the world you started this journey...it is in those times it is good to remember how, at one time, it looked like your dream would not be realized! You remember when you had to lay it down, not knowing if God would give it back to you. It's good to remember that this would not have happened if God hadn't intervened and MADE it happen.  You may feel like you are in a desert but it's good to know you are in the RIGHT desert and that God has not left you!

Hopefully we come to a place where we realize it is all worth it!! After all, do we really want to stand before God's Throne someday WELL RESTED?? Or do we want to be completely SPENT doing His will?? Do we want to say we SAVED up everything He gave us and KEPT it to OURSELVES? Or do we want to say we SPENT it on others? Do we want to be MULTIPLIERS or HOARDERS? If you run a race, aren't you at least a little winded when it's over? If you aren't were you running your hardest?

In those times when it's HARD, I pray we all remember that we are not alone, that God is for us, that He will strengthen us and refresh us and clean us up and keep us going. I pray we will seek His face. I pray when we are hurt and tempted to be bitter, that we will let Him grow us and make us better! He will not forsake us, His mercies are new every morning.

Sidenote: I am surprised that my Bible does not automatically open to Isaiah 58! This has been my "go to" passage for a good 2 years now! Perhaps at some point I will have it memorized!!

"Is not this the kinds of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? THEN your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; THEN your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. THEN you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here I am.

If you do away with the yoke of oppression, and with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, THEN your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. 

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called the Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings."

~Isaiah 58:6-12

5 comments:

  1. Excellent thoughts, Karen. Thanks for sharing.

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