The New Year is a great time to reflect on new dreams. I'm learning to dream my dreams a little less specifically. I believe God gives me inspiration and ideas that my dreams are made of, but I'm learning that I can hold myself back by relying too much on what I dream of for the new year.
This was shown to me during the past winter blast we had in the year previous. I was having troubles with my heater and everything stirred up on the coldest iciest day in Dallas for some time. Though my heater would go on and off, the night it totally went out was the coldest night to the storm. I was completely stressed from not enough sleep the night before and then I was faced with a house with no heat and the fear of frozen pipes and other maladies that go along with that. I knew God could get my heat on even though the specialists were not allowed to drive on the icy streets to come to my aid. I begged God to do a miracle for me. He had done it before.
Instead, my fire alarms began malfunctioning on top of everything else. I felt that I was in a torture chamber, getting up every few minutes to reset the alarms, afraid to totally unplug them. God was there with me. He saw me. He saw my pain. He knew I was in anguish. He didn't fix the problems the way I begged Him. He focused on my healing rather than fixing me. He showed me that I had a strength I didn't know I had. He showed me how to sort out the problem with the alarms and I was amazed that my two small space heaters and my great gas fireplace could keep my house at 55 degrees when the temperature outside was in the teens. He showed me that I could rest in between waking up to check on things to make sure everything was safe. He did more than I can really tell you in this devotion in healing me in the midst of fixing the problems. What healed me the most is the realization that I'm much stronger than I thought.
This memory comes to mind as I think about my dreams for the New Year. I have some dreams for sure, but I'm not sure they are what are best for me. I always dream about good things happening to me. I dream of peace and tasks accomplished. I want to have everything in my life under control and all people who are important to me at peace with themselves and this life. That may not be good enough for God. He wants to use my lifetime experiences to deepen my knowledge of Him and strengthen the connection I feel to Him. Honestly, that rarely happens when everything is coming up roses.
I feel I need the encouragement that was given to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:3-5:
“You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”
When I go off following my dreams for my new year without trusting myself completely to the hands of God in full surrender, I lose my first love and in effect lose everything. I want to dream big this year by not dreaming of specifics I want to accomplish. I dream bigger than that. I dream that I will see everything God is dreaming up for me in this New Year, which for sure will include times of stretching—all to help me love Him more.