Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Not My Dream to Dream

A couple of weeks ago I had a moment of clarity that I have not been able to shake, nor have I wanted to.

I was laying in bed, unable to sleep, and just began thinking and dreaming and imagining. If you're a woman, you get this without me having to explain it. We fantasize. We dream. We make believe. Oftentimes those dreams, those figments of imagination, become our bargaining chips with God. We dream and desire so vividly that our emotions and cravings get all tangled up, and those desires become our expectations; a part of us (whether we admit it or not) believes we deserve those things we dream about. It is so easy for this to happen; so easy for our thoughts to drift and our hearts to become self-seeking.

So on that night, before I knew it, my thoughts became this stream of subconscious day-dreaming. {I had just given birth. As I held my child in my arms, my husband leaned over to kiss me and we both just wept; overwhelmed with the Lord's goodness and gifts.} It was so beautiful, so right, so simple, so realistic; yet at the same time, full of imagination and impatient longing. I was awake, yet not at all present or on guard. I shook myself out of the day dream and the first words that came out of my mouth were, "this is not your dream to dream."

I didn't mean that in the way that I'm not allowed to desire or dream or want; but in the way that this dream I had concocted in my mind was not my reality, nor am I promised it will ever be my reality. I cannot pretend that it's my reality or place my hope, energy, and and heart on that being my reality. My hope should not, and cannot, be placed in something that is temporal and may never be granted- or even if it is granted, can be taken away by a good and sovereign Father.

As I laid there that night, I was quite the mixture of confusion, sadness, frustration. I began to think about what has been given to me as a child of God; of what is promised to me; what is my reality. In my mind, I echoed what the prophet Jeremiah said in Lamentations 3:21. "This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope..." 

When I hear the word hope, there is a depth that I feel; to hope for something goes far beyond wanting or desiring. I can want to sleep in on a Saturday; but if I wake up early I'm not crushed. I can desire a good grade on a test; but if I don't get it, my heart isn't broken. But when I hope for something; like truly hope...and that hope and expectation isn't met, it is truly crushing. It's devastating. We were not created to hope in something temporal. We were created to hope in God, and God alone. We were created to hope in His promises; to rest in His love; to rely on His character; not something or someone else's.

As I sat in all of this that night, I began replaying the promises of God in my mind for the believer. (this list barely scratches the surface too, which is so crazy) As the weeks have passed, I've continued to pray these would be something I daily believed at a deeper level. These are my reasons to hope. And, if you are a child of God's, these are your reasons to hope too:

  • I am a child of God (Romans 8:12-17)
  • He loves me and nothing can separate me from that (Romans 8:31-39)
  • Nothing and no one can snatch me from His hand (John 10:28-29)
  • He is my divine source of joy (Matthew 5:2-12)
  • He is my Good Shepherd (John 10:1-21)
  • I have a hope that is a sure and steadfast anchor for my soul (Hebrews 6:19)
  • I am being transformed into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18)
  • He is my source of peace (Philippians 5:6-7; John 14:27))
  • God provides for my needs (Matthew 6:25-30)
  • Jesus intercedes for me (Romans 8:34)
  • God will never leave or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5)
  • We will receive when we ask in His name (Matthew 21:22)
  • He delivers me from my fears (Psalm 34:5)
  • The Holy Spirit intercedes for me (Romans 8:27)
  • There is rest found in Christ (Matthew 11:28-30)
  • He is with me to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)
  • Jesus is my High Priest; He understands (Hebrews 4:14-16)
  • I have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)
  • God will never again remember my sins (Hebrews 8:8-12)
  • He knows what I need (Luke 12:27-34)
  • Jesus is preparing a place for me (John 14:1-4)
  • He is a good Father (Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:13)
  • The Father gives good gifts (James 1:17)
  • I am a part of God's people (1 Peter 2:1)
  • Sin will not rule over me (Romans 6:14) 
  • He holds my tears in His bottle (Psalm 56:8) 
  • The Holy Spirit is my Helper (John 14:15-31)
  • He comforts our hearts (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
  • He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:3-6)
  • I will be raised to an incorruptible body (1 Corinthians 15:52-57)
  • His Kingdom is coming (Matthew 24:14)
  • By abiding with Christ, I will produce fruit (John 15:5)
  • God is faithful and strengthens me against the enemy (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
  • I am an heirs to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:6-7)
  • I will be transformed into the likeness of Christ (Philippians 3:21-22)
  • The inheritance kept in heaven for me is imperishable, undefiled, uncorrupted, unfading (1 Peter 1:3-5) 
  • One day He will return and once again dwell with us; He will wipe away every fear and death will be no more (Revelation 21:1-7)

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

When Darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.