Dreams Can Come True
“Every valley shall be raised, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged places a broad valley. “And the glory and majesty and splendor of the Lord will be revealed, And all humanity shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”
People say that the night is darkest just before the dawn. Certainly, the children of Israel in the time Isaiah was written felt their situation was as black as could be. The cruel Babylonian empire had overrun them. God had warned them over and over again that He would punish them for their repeated sins, but they had rebelled against Him. Now, they were suffering the drastic consequences of their behavior.
In a remarkable sign of grace, God spoke to them through Isaiah to reassure them of His good intentions for them. In their despair, they felt like giving up, but God reminded them that He could make their wildest dreams- of freedom, peace, and joy- come true.
God’s promise of blessing and change found in the passage above Carrie’s two separate meanings. First, t assures the people of Israel that God would rescue them from Babylon. The second application will occur when Jesus returns to earth. On that day, He will appear in the clouds with the angels blaring trumpets(Matthew 24:30-31) as the world watches (on every network and cable news station!). On both occasions- people experience miraculous transformation, injustice is replaced by God’s justice, and righteousness rules.
All of us long for wrongs to be made right. We may not be in as difficult a spot as the children of Israel in captivity, but all of us experience forms of injustice in our lives. Someday though, God will make everything right. It’s His promise.
Some years ago a dear Kenyan pastor friend of mine posed a question to the congregation. “Where,” he asked, “do you think is the richest place on earth?” I’m sure many of us thought about South Africa with its diamond mines, or perhaps Saudi Arabia with its oil fields, or maybe even the US with all its abundance of resources. We weren’t prepared when we heard him name the wealthiest place on earth as being the cemetery. Most of us know that “you can’t take it with you” so we don’t know many if any who were buried like the Pharaohs. But as he continued his sermon that Sunday, he began to describe the wealth of the cemetery. He described it as a place where great dreams, ideas, abilities and potential was buried. He talked about those who go through life that at one time had great dreams and desires to accomplish great things only to have experienced the crushing, dashing, and ridicule for dreaming such things. I wonder how many of us had great hopes and dreams that we discarded as foolish or unattainable. Perhaps along the way to attaining our dream, other things got in the way, we became sidetracked or we were convinced by those who thought they knew us that what we dreamed was impossible.
God has dreams and desires and as we read HIs story we find that often it seemed that it was impossible for that dream to be so. I’m sure when He created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden, His dream was to have sweet fellowship with them. When they disobeyed and sinned, it seemed that the hopes of such a dream was crushed. Now God could have buried that dream, but, instead, He instituted the plan of redemption, still moving toward that dream. As time went on, the dream of God becoming a reality seemed to vanish as the people of Noah’s day chose to reject God and participate in every imaginable evil and wicked thing. We read that in that moment, God’s grief over His masterpiece of creation- humanity that was self destruction moved Him to say:
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.”
But God’s desire for His dream to come to pass found life as Noah found grace in His eyes and though only eight people survived the purge, God knew that eight were sufficient to bring His dream to fruition.
As time went on, humanity again and again seemed to dash God’s dream so God sought a single individual through which to bring about His dream- Abraham. Through Abraham’s descendants, God’s dream was to fill the earth with a people that would love, worship and serve Him. With a few false starts and a few missteps, it appeared that the dream was on the path to becoming a reality as the nation of Israel was born. Reading the Old Testament, we find there were those times when the dream was becoming a reality and times when it seemed to have died.
And then God did the ultimate thing to insure the dream would come to pass. He sent His Son to give His life and offer to humanity to opportunity to become the fulfillment of His dream. Not everyone would embrace the dream. Some would reject it out right, some would embrace it for a time until they lost patience to see it come completely to pass, but there would be those who would stay the course until that day when a dream became the reality. There will come the day when those of the human race who have made the choice to believe in and participate in the fulfillment of God’s dream will experience the fullness of its reality. As Jesus was describing that moment, He called it the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.” On that day, the heart of God and our hearts will be filled with overflowing joy and celebration with God who sees after all these years His dream a reality.
But what about us? What about our dreams and plans? Can we to still believe they can be possible? Is it possible that in the ashes of our lives, the spark of those dreams is still burning? Jesus said that He hadn’t come to break a bruised reed or to extinguish the small spark. So if life has beaten you down, crushed your spirit, stole your dreams, and bruised your spirit bring it all to Him. Remember that He was the One who stood beside a body that had been dead for four days and declared, “I am the resurrection and life and even though this body is dead, it will live again.” Why don’t you take Him to that place in your heart where you buried your dreams and hopes. Invite Him to that grave and let His voice call into the depths of your life and watch as those dead, buried, and forgotten dreams come to life again.
Isaiah writes to a people whose hope is gone. They are fully aware that they killed the dream through their own actions. Psalm 137 says that they had “hung their harps on the willow tree” and their captors mocked them, taunting them for their giving up their songs and dancing before the Lord. Somewhere in their pit of despair God sends Isaiah to remind them of the dream of being once again free and back in their land of promise. So they said:
“If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.”
The following Psalm is an expression once again of expressive praise and worship and the Israelites remember the God who authored the dream and the God who would surely bring it to pass.
Someone defined the difference between a daydream and a God-given-dream as a wish and a vision. It’s easy to live in the wish-world. We can say, “ Oh, I wish life were different, better, or easier. I wish that…..(you complete the sentence.) And we can go through life and die without ever having one of those wishes to come true. The reason is that we give no energy to wishes. We just drift along hoping by some chance, some intervention either by God or someone else, or maybe when the planets line up correctly 😎 that everything will just fall together as it does in the movies. But God-given dreams, visions are different because they move to action. When Adam and Eve’s choice derailed God’s dream, He didn’t hesitate, wring His hands and stand helplessly by. He acted. He shed innocent blood to wash away their sins and remove its barricade hindering the dream. Again and again God acted whenever something attempted to thwart the dream. Finally, He brought to bear the ultimate insurance that His dream would become reality through the death and resurrection of Christ. Someday soon He will see and we will be the completion of the dream that nothing has been able to kill.
Every dream God has given you will require action. There will be those days and times when the devil, the world, and even you will take action to kill or to give up on the dream. What you do in that moment is critical. Here are some steps:
First of all it’s important to determine whether it’s a God-given dream(a vision) or whether it’s a whimsical wish. For example, I have a whimsical wish to be wealthy but it’s not a vision because while I might enjoy the benefits of being wealthy, I really haven’t worked very hard toward becoming so. Second of all, remember that if it is God-given, it will also be God-driven and it will come to pass through His power. Joseph had a dream but he had to go through the pit and the prison before he received its promise. Sometimes we have to hunker down in the storm but never forget to keep rowing toward our God-defined destiny. Finally, let us remember that the dreams God gives to us, He is just as interested in them coming to pass as much and maybe more than we are. Keep dreaming even if the dream is small. As you see small dreams come to pass, dream bigger. Whatever you do, don’t enrich the cemetery!