It’s late, and I’m sort of on my normal sleep cycle, which means I’m not sleeping very much. That’s all right, as it gives me time to think and relax. When I relax, I usually like sappy movies. Tonight, Ice Princess was on one of the Disney channels, so I sat down to watch it again. It’s a typical teenage coming of age story. A teenage girl has been following mom’s dream for her and then discovers she has a passion for something completely different. Mom’s passion was for her to go to Harvard. Her passion is for ice skating, which she discovers as she’s doing a project to help get a scholarship to Harvard. One of the turning points of the movie is when the teenager leaves the interview at Harvard and her mom confronts her in the car about throwing away her dream. And then the girl points out that the dream was her mom’s, not hers. Of course, this results in a downward spiral in the relationship as the teen pursues her true passion. And since it’s a sappy movie, you can probably guess what happens at the end. The teen pursues her dream, does an awesome job at a competition (wins the silver, qualifying for nationals) and mom is there to see it and admit she was wrong not to embrace her daughter’s dream.
This got me to thinking about dreams. Not the type we have when we sleep, but the type that drive us. The ones we put up in the stars and hope come true. We all have them. Even the apostle Paul had a dream. We can find it in Romans:
I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. – Romans 9:1-5, NIV
Paul’s dream was for his people. He would have traded his own salvation for the rest of the Israelites to be saved. I know I’ve wrote on this before, but the fact he so wanted this dream to come to pass that he would offer himself up in Israel’s place sticks with me. That sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it? That sounds exactly like Jesus offering Himself up as the sacrifice for our sins. One could say that was God’s dream: that we would be reconciled to Him. And that dream was so important to Him that He gave Himself up to see it come true.
What about us? Do we have such a passion to see people come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ that we would be willing to offer ourselves up in their place? Do we care so much about others that our dream is for them to be saved whatever the cost to ourselves? The older I get and the more I mature in the faith, the more I realize that most of my earthly dreams are not worth much. The ones that achieve temporary things need to be set aside. But the ones that have permanent impact are the ones I need to focus on. For instance, I want my boys to grow up to be men of God, men which God will say about them, “They are men after My own heart.” I want my daughter to grow up to be a woman who is pleasing to God in all of her ways. I want to help my wife receive that same compliment from our Lord, too. And I want God to say of me, “He is a servant among servants and he loves Me most of all.” But I also want to see true revival and a true awakening where many would come to salvation. I know it’s possible because God has brought it upon us before. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen such a large scale revival. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen again.
I also know it will be costly to us in the Church. He will force us to examine ourselves and He will reveal to us the true depths of sin in our hearts. And that will rend us to pieces. But from that broken state God can build us back up to be His people. And in the process He will draw others to the faith. They will be broken like us and it will draw still more. And that will make it worth any pain and any suffering that we must bear. For what is temporary suffering for us if it leads to eternal life for another?