January 14, 2013
New Dreams for a New Year
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)
Adulthood often seems like the place where dreams go to die. As a little girl my heart brimmed over with dreams. My parents' and teachers' encouragement convinced me anything was possible, so my prospects increased by the day.
I pictured myself traveling the countryside curing animals like James Herriott in All Creatures Great and Small. I envisioned myself as nanny-extraordinaire like Mary Poppins or an exquisite singer like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.
The advent of middle school challenged my girlish dreams. Not-so-encouraging peers, realizations of my limitations, and a few failures and hard knocks made me more cautious about my future. Although some dreams remained, others died along the way.
Sitting in a room of friends recently, I listened attentively as they shared a graveyard of dreams. Some dreams were killed by belittling from people who should have been supporters. Other dreams died a slow death when the realities of rent and grocery bills took precedence. Still others had been set on a shelf under a dusty dome of "some day." They wondered if God had forgotten the dreams in their hearts.
They aren't alone. The Bible records story after story of dreamers who had to wait for the fulfillment of their dreams.
Abraham dreamt of a promised nation.
Isaac dreamt of a beautiful woman in a strange land.
Hannah dreamt of a child.
Samuel dreamt of a godly king.
God is not only the weaver of dreams, but He answers them as well. God has limitless creativity, and His creation longs for the opportunity to create and build and produce things of value. He is the one who plants dreams in our heart to be held until the time is right to bring them to life.
I encourage you today to take out your dreams, resuscitate them if necessary and examine them. There may be childhood dreams that need to be allowed to slip away, like balloons gently released into the sky. But what about the others?
Are there any buried dreams that need to be dusted off, held in your hands and offered back to God? He's the one who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine with the ideas He's given. Offer those dreams a new start in this New Year.
Dear Lord, I embrace the dreams You've given me. Help me resist discouragement and hold on to them until I see Your power bring them to reality. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
Visit Amy's blog to hear more about stoking your dreams.
Do you ever feel like you're not good enough, smart enough, or valuable enough? If you struggle with self-doubt, pick up a copy of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope for biblical truth and encouragement!
Reflect and Respond:
Is there a dream you've let die and need to bring back to life?
Start a journal and write down your dreams. Read them aloud to God and ask Him to show you the ones that He's placed in your heart to hold.
Psalm 37:4-6, "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." (NIV 1984)
Psalm 20:4, "May he grant you your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans!" (ESV)
© 2013 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 14 January 2013.