HE has a Dream

I admit that I often walk into church with an agenda for God. I think, "Okay, God, I'm here and you know what I'm struggling with. You know what's on my heart, so please tailor the message according to my needs. Thanks." (I am not proud of this, but I don't think I'm the only Christian with these thoughts.)

So when I walked into my church yesterday morning and saw that Sameh Maurice, Senior Pastor of Kasr el Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo, Egypt, was speaking, I admit that a part of me thought, "This is not what I needed today, God. What's going on in Egypt doesn't have much to do with my life." (Again, not proud, just keeping it real.) However, I listened to his message with an open heart as he spoke about the vision of the Church in Egypt. Honestly, it made me feel like a self-absorbed, ignorant American Christian. And then God did His thing and spoke straight to my heart.  Little did I know that something that seemed to be only on the periphery of my radar would have EVERYTHING to do with me.

Because that's how God works.

This is not about me wanting to go to Egypt (relax, Mom). I've never been on a mission trip, and I've never felt "the call" to go (not yet, anyway). I consider working in a very REAL high school to be my "mission field." When I walk into Mesquite High School each day, I'm "on mission" for Christ because I pray that the kindness and compassion that I show to those hard-to-love teens will in some small way reflect the love of Jesus. I fail often, but I try.

What got to me in this message is the word "VISION." Pastor Sameh read a passage from Habakkuk 2: 1-4 (how often do you hear a message based on a scripture for that book of the Bible?). He then went on to say that when we allow Him, God will reveal himself in visions and dreams so that we can "run with it and accomplish what God wants us to accomplish." As I sat and listened to the stories of the struggles of the Egyptian people in the middle of a cultural, political, and spiritual revolution, guilt enveloped me--guilt over my ignorance, my selfishness, my lack of awareness about this critical situation. But most importantly, I asked myself this question: When have I asked God to give me a dream for my life, or when have I handed him a dream and asked him to make it His? Do I follow my own vision for my life or do I allow God's vision to lead me?

The hard truth is that I am guilty of masking my own will as God's will. I am guilty of saying, "I've got this God. Let me handle this situation/problem/crisis because I want to manipulate the outcome so that it is pleasing to ME." And once again, I know I'm not alone so that's why I share this struggle. This message made me ask myself when have I allowed God to dream a dream for my life? When has it been more about HIS vision and less about mine?

As I was sitting there feeling weighted down by guilt, the answer came in a whisper to my heart. "Your family is my vision."

Most of you know the story of how we became a family of five. If you don't, then you can read about it here and here. But this is a perfect example of God dreaming something that I never imagined. Jason and I envisioned our family in a very traditional way--two kids, four years apart. We had a PLAN, thank you very much, God. But that's not how He saw it. He saw Barbie in it. And because we asked for His guidance--because we gave our hearts to him in that situation--He has blessed us in immeasurable ways. This is NOT about us. I never want people to think that Jason and I take any credit for bringing Barbie into our home and into our family. Our story is about what God can do when we not only ask Him but when we get out of the way and ALLOW Him to lead. This is all about HIS VISION for our family.

Please don't think that if you give your dream to God that it will always have a happy ending--that it will always turn out the way you hoped. That's the "blessed assurance" myth that many Christians fall into (Guilty again). God's assurance is that He will not let go of us. He will walk with us in every trial and tribulation. The assurance is not that He will make it all easy; the assurance is His presence. And that takes tremendous Faith. And it's so. very. hard.



As we celebrate a great American dreamer, I think it's a perfect day to pray: "What's your dream for my life, God?" It's a scary prayer to pray, my friends (especially if you are a Type A control freak like someone I know VERY well).

Even though I'm not living in the midst of a revolution nor do I have multiple stamps on my passport (I don't even have one, not yet, anyway...), God still has dreams for my life. Big ones. (Did you notice how I took that mission trip example and bent it to fit MY will--to justify it to fit MY vision...The struggle is REAL, y'all, and God has a lot of work left to do on my heart.)

All we have to do is pray for God to take control of our dreams, our hearts, our lives...

It seems so simple, and yet it is so not. Believe me, I KNOW. But the reward is worth the risk.


Comments

  1. I love this. I need to let go and let God dream for me.

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