It’s almost too hot to be writing a blog post. Almost above 30 degrees and probably hotter in my little apartment in PG.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with this question. Actually, for the past three years I’ve been struggling with this question. I don’t know about you, but very few things in my life have turned out the way I imagined…so it begs the question, ‘Does God even want me to dream??‘ About three years ago, I surrendered my life to Christ. I came face to face with a living God and knew that nothing else mattered but living entirely for Him. And, nothing has been more satisfying or given me more joy or certainty than my living for Him. I never looked back.
Around this same time, I ripped up bucketlists and deleted old files with dreams. Many of my dreams seemed so frivolous and empty and I no longer wanted to live to cross off an item from a bucketlist. I wanted to truly live.
But without even knowing it, I began to store dreams inside my heart. I tucked them away so they weren’t even visible to me, but they were there, in the creases of my heart and soul. They were there.
And last month, I got to live out one of my long-time dreams – a trip to India. I had wanted India for a long time. I wanted to see it – the colors, spices, sounds, dirt, poverty, crowded-ness, culture, extreme beauty – I wanted India in all its intensity. And, I got to experience all of it. It was more beautiful than I imagined.
And upon coming back home, I found myself start to get angry. Old dreams, the ones I thought I ripped up, were waiting in the recesses of my heart. After India, so many of them came to the forefront and I became bitter at God. Why would He let all these other dreams go unfulfilled? Instead of being grateful for the amazing experience in India, I became bitter. I wanted more and I wanted it all the time. I felt like a little kid who wasn’t getting her way. Why would He give me this amazing experience which only left me wanting more?
After three years, I came face to face with the lie I had been holding onto for so long: Jesus doesn’t want me to dream.
Where did this come from? If I wanted to tackle the lie head on, I’d need to start at its roots.
The thoughts started to percolate…”Because I am not where I imagined I’d be, because all the dreams I had for myself had mostly gone unfulfilled…so why dream? In the end, isn’t he just going to ask me to abandon them? Go elsewhere? So why bother dreaming when dreams won’t be realized anyway?” It was a cynical, dark place to be exploring, but I needed to ask. I needed to stop pretending with God in prayer. I needed to ask him.
And it hit me – all of it – India, my very dreams and desires, they are all from Him!
nothing is separate from Him.
He longs to be my dream. Often we think being a Christian is about desiring less – like the heresy that sexual desire is bad. We are taught to abandon dreams and suppress desires, but in doing so, we abandon those very things that are life-giving. Being a Christian is actually about INTENSIFYING OUR DESIRES.
Jesus wants us to desire Him so much – desire heaven so much that we would die for Him. Only love, not hate can motivate that!
so dream – and dream big.
yes, he’ll shatter some dreams – only the false, empty ones.
but for the most part – he’ll fulfill or intensify the other dreams.
“When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger, and becoming stronger, they take hold of their object. Holy desires likewise, grow with anticipation, and if they do not grow, they are not really desires.”
// St. Gregory the Great.
As for my dream list? I’ve had to begin it all over again, but as I began the process of dreaming again, I saw it so clearly – He longs to dream beside me and that is the most powerful dreaming of all – to dream alongside Jesus. He longs for us to cling to Him, our rock, instead of clinging to bucketlists and dreams. He longs to be the rock on which we build our churches, that is to say, our dreams.
so yes, he wants us to dream.
more often than not, we’re not dreaming enough.