Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.
March 24, 2009
“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you have planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.” Psalm 40:5 (NIV)
Recently I learned that a book that I had given up on was miraculously going to be published after all. I was amazed at God’s power and His timing. I was ecstatic that He opened doors that I thought were shut forever. As I dug out the original notebook I had once designated to hold the papers and notes I would need for this project, I was shocked to find that almost every page in that notebook was scribbled on by my youngest child. Her artwork made every page unusable! I chuckled to myself as I closed the notebook and went in search of another one to use instead.
Later I reflected on my decision to hand over that notebook to my child. What had made me do that? I knew that it was because the project was, in my estimation, worthless, forgotten. The notebook represented something that would never be. It epitomized the death of a dream. Why not let my daughter fill in the pages with her toddler scribbles? I must have reasoned that nothing else would ever fill those pages!
And yet we serve a God who can blow new life into a dead dream. I had forgotten all about the book I once yearned to write. I had moved on in search of a new dream. But God had not forgotten. His plan was different—and longer—than mine. His vision was further reaching. His outcome never consisted of me writing my dream off as worthless and unachievable. Instead He wanted me to trust in Him even when the situation looked hopeless.
Do you have a dream that looks dead from where you are standing? Have you thrown in the towel, chalked your efforts up to experience and moved on? Just don’t move so far that God can’t bring you back to the dream when He is ready. Don’t fill in the pages of your notebook with hopeless scribbles and not give Him room to fill the pages with His Word, words of life and hope and vision. Yes, surrender your dreams—holding onto them lightly and always keeping His plans as your purpose, ready to lay down anything He asks because no dream is more important than Him. But also remember that God loves to bring about the unexpected, throwing us little surprise parties that bring joy to His Father’s heart.
My notebook now serves as a reminder—in childlike script—of God’s ability to overcome the impossible and open doors that were once slammed shut. I wouldn’t trade those scribbled-on pages for anything! Now I look forward to filling the pages of a new notebook with all new dreams. Dreams that were handed back to me when I least expected it.
Dear Lord, please help me to trust You when things don’t work out and I have to surrender my dreams. Help me to rest in the fact that You see things from a much bigger vantage point than I ever could. Help me to know that You always have my best interests in mind, even when You close doors I wanted open. And help me Lord to be ever mindful of Your power that is always at work—even when I can’t see it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For the Write Reason General Editor Marybeth Whalen
Learning to Live Financially Free: Hard Earned Wisdom for Saving Your Money and Your Marriage by Marybeth and Curt Whalen
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Do you have a dream you believe is dead? Spend some time writing about that dream in your journal today. Describe it in detail, and then ask God for His purposes to be revealed and His plans to be accomplished. Then spend time praising Him in advance for what He will do with your dreams.
Why do you think dreams are important to us? Do you allow yourself to dream? Have you allowed broken dreams to stop you from dreaming altogether?
Psalm 75:1, “We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.” (NIV)
Psalm 136:6, “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” (NIV)
Psalm 105:4, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105