Restoring the Dream
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
Friend to Friend
I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, 200 miles from the coast. And yet, our local Wal Mart has a random smattering of seagulls that soar overhead and eat French fries and other debris from neighboring fast food restaurants. The truth is, the seagulls are lost. They've taken a wrong turn. And instead of discovering where they went wrong, they've settled for the asphalt parking lot rather than the salty sea. They've reconciled themselves to feeding on the refuge and trash of harried shoppers rather than the fresh seafood cuisine of their feathered forefathers.
It's not just the seagulls who are lost...who have forgotten the reason for their very existence, the habitat for which they were created to survive and thrive. It is human beings as well. Many have become lost. They are standing in the parking lot of life subsisting off of the refuse of fast living.
Someone needs to point them to the ocean of opportunity, the sea of success, the shore of satisfaction. And I'm not taking about money or materialism...that IS mere French fries compared to the abundant life that God has for His image bearers. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).
Do you know someone who is discouraged? Who has taken a wrong turn in life? Who has let the fire go out on their hopes and dreams? A friend? A husband? A child? If so, hang the fire extinguisher back in the corner and become an encourager who fans even the smallest spark of potential into flame. Let's send those "gulls" and "buoys" back to the sea of opportunity where they belong.
Dear Father: All around me I see people who have settled for less than Your best. They've given up on their hopes and dreams. But Lord, I don't want to be one of those people. Are there dreams in my own life that I have forgotten? Have I settled for less than Your best? If I have, please reveal it to me and give me the courage to get out of the parking lot of life and soar to places that You had planned all along.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Let's think about David in the Bible for just a moment. What happened to him when the prophet Samuel come to his father's house in 1 Samuel chapter 16?
Did things go well for David after he was anointed as the next King of Israel? If you're not sure, just skim through the pages of 1 Samuel.
Did David ever give up on God's dream for him?
Do you think that David ever wanted to give up and just go back to taking care of sheep? I think he probably did. But he kept pressing on.
In your own life, have there been dreams that you have given up on because the way grew too rough? What have you learned from this lesson today?