Friday, October 7, 2011

Holding on to God-Sized Dreams

What are you dreaming about or hoping for?  

I love the challenge of God-sized dreams, dreams God puts in our hearts that we cannot possibly bring about in our own strength.  They require God’s miraculous intervention.  God seems to specialize in calling us to do things that are beyond our own capabilities.

My husband and I have spent 10 years in the Middle East working to see God’s Kingdom grow here. We were part of an established fellowship where we felt comfortable for 8 years, but last year we said yes to God’s call to step out of the boat and start a new group. We’ve been meeting together with another foreign family and reaching out to local friends for a year, but we still don’t have any new believers. 

At first glance, it looks like we’ve made no progress, but that’s not really true. We have one year of experience, more contact with mslms, growing faith, and a broader based team since one more family and a single girl have joined us.

Last Sunday I particularly enjoyed our simple meeting in our teammates’ living room. A local believing family joined us. Usually my son plays the guitar, so we sang a few songs, shared about how the week had gone for everyone, and then discussed John 12.  Later we had bowls of lentil soup, tea, and cookies. For me, the highlight of our time together was watching a 2 year old child smile with pure joy and clap while we sang.

God-sized dreams can be slow in coming true. You have to wait longer than you’d like.  Things don’t always work out as easily as you expect, and it’s easy to get discouraged or wonder if you heard from God at all. 

How do you keep going when dreams are slow in coming? 
  • Keep your vision in front of you and continue taking steps towards it. What can you do today, or this week?
  • Enjoy the journey instead of being overly anxious to “arrive” at your destination.   
  • Don’t let your dream be the sole basis of your happiness and fulfillment. Keep a broad outlook and enjoy other areas of life: family, friends, work, and other pursuits.
  • Seek advice, counsel, and help from other people. You’ll need their encouragement, wisdom, and practical resources to keep going.
  • Embrace the gentle art of reflection. What is God doing in you as you wait for Him to work through you?
  • Take every opportunity to equip yourself and learn what you can while you wait. 
  • Be open to changing your strategy if things aren’t working.
  • Don’t automatically assume that you’re doing something wrong just because you’re not getting the results you hoped for.

Last spring I had the invaluable opportunity to talk with a counselor and life coach.  She challenged me with the following statement: “Remember that your goal is not establishing a new fellowship. Your goal is God!” This brought fresh perspective on how to look at my God-sized dream.  I want to keep my eyes on the Real Goal.

What about you? What’s the dream or vision God has given you? How do you handle having to wait to see it come true?

“May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” (Romans 15:13, The Message)


Anonymous said...

What a great, encouraging blog; thanks for the pointers, too! :)
Legal Alien

Alida said...

We have been here in Belize for a year now...I truly appreciate your tips and advice!

OliveTree said...

One year in Belize! Blessings to you, Alida. Keep going! I think the first year anywhere is the hardest...

I love your blog, by the way.

Stephanie said...

Your goal is God! ...I love, love this! Great post.

Tricia said...

So true! Thanks for this post. Seems like our western mentality wants to take on a project and see it get done and move forward but the work you are doing is so relational and you're scattering seeds. I'd love to get your Turkish lentil soup recipe though to serve to our intl student friends!!

OliveTree said...

Did I mention lentil soup, Tricia? Or are you a mind reader? That's my post for next week!


Karin said...

Without a lack of "His Dreams" hope, faith....I would have been lost and probably somewhere else. Thank you again for reminding us to hold onto those dreams. To not let go.....He is faithful, on time....but never late!

Robin said...

Thanks for the reminder that our goal is God! Great words of encouragement.

us5 said...

great reminders, Olive. thank you. sometimes it's really hard to wait for God's timing, isn't it? i have to remind myself to give Him thanks for what He's doing, and for how and when He's doing it. as i practice thankfulness, i also begin to notice more of His goodness even in the waiting!

OliveTree said...

Thanks for your comments. That's a great point about thankfulness, Us5. So important. It really does help us notice more of his goodness!