“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Have you ever had a dream die? Something you wanted to accomplish in life but “life” got in the way? A desired friendship dissolved because of distance or misunderstanding? Marriage and family never became a reality? What you thought was the call of God never materialized?
Madeleine L’ Engle writes, “Until I can mourn the loss of a dream I cannot be comforted enough to have vision for a fresh one.” Many North Americans are not comfortable with mourning. We feel it is appropriate to weep at the loss of a loved one, but when the weeping goes on for what we believe is “too long,” we counsel the individual to “get over it,” face reality, or any number of other equally comfortless bromides.
The Bible describes several people who lost their dreams: Naomi turned bitter when her dream of husband and family dissolved; Job’s wealth, health and family evaporated and he had many questions of God; Hannah waited “too long” for a child; after Jesus’ death, two of his friends walked sadly to the town of Emmaus and said, “we had hoped that He was the one.”
Since it is God’s great pleasure to give us new dreams and fresh hopes, perhaps it’s time to sit quietly in His presence, mourn the loss of our dream, then listen to the still, small voice of the Giver of Dreams for the better things He has planned.
Father, weeping isn’t comfortable and often isn’t socially acceptable, but thank you for knowing and understanding my tears and loss. Help me to feel your care, then move on to seek your new dreams for my life.
by Marilyn Ehle
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