What if Your Dreams DON’T Come True?

Image-1 (3)Have you ever felt offended on behalf of someone in the Bible?

I know. That sounds like straight up heresy.

Because shouldn’t we read every line of Scripture through the lens of “God is good. God is sovereign. And who am I to question how He does things?”

But when it’s just you, the Word of God, and all of your hurt and mess, sometimes your gut-reactions may not be so neat and tidy. I confess that was me as I sat with the story of Moses not too long ago.

Me, Moses, and my messy reactions.

In the portion of Scripture I was reading, Moses was speaking life and encouragement over Joshua, the man who would get to lead God’s people into the Promised Land instead of Moses (Deuteronomy 31:1-8). Telling him not to fear. Encouraging him to trust God and keep on keepin’ on. And I found my insides starting to feel a little bristly.

Honestly, I would have struggled with that assignment. And not just the part about being an encourager in the face of my own disappointment thing. I would have struggled with not getting to enter the Promised Land. Because while my head knows a case of disobedience on the part of Moses is what kept him from entering in, my heart cries out, “But he worked so HARD. He deserves to go into the Promised Land.” {Yikes. Entitlement issues, anyone?} 

And Moses had worked hard. He had gone in front of hard-hearted Pharaoh again and again and again. He had led a stiff-necked, complaining bunch of people for forty years. But did he pout, shake his fist at God and throw in the towel when he first found out he wouldn’t be the one to officially lead the people in? Nope.

He. Still. Followed.
He. Still. Led.
He. Still. Encouraged.

And I felt the Lord impress some motive-checking questions on my heart…

Kimberly, if I told you right now that the dreams you are holding onto will never come to fruition, that the things you think you want, even think you deserve, will never come your way – would you still follow Me? If I told you that you will never reap for yourself some of the things you are sowing, would you still obey Me?

And while I wanted to immediately answer, “Yes, Lord. Of course!”… the truth is, I know my heart and flesh would struggle. In great big ways.

This struggle demands I take a closer look at Moses. Search for clues about what kept him following and serving the Lord in the midst of a disappointment that could have shut him down. And what I discovered are truths that I believe will help me keep pressing on with God no matter what too. Truths that make me ask a few questions of myself.

Here is what I discovered:

1 – Moses had truly experienced God.

Not someone else’s story. No. He had his own burning bush, sea parting, mountaintop meeting, face glowing story.

Am I experiencing God for myself? Not just once in a while, but continually?

2 – He trusted God.

Seriously. If you read all about Moses, you will see that God asked Moses to do some crazy things. And Moses obeyed. There was obviously a deep level of trust there.

Do I really and truly trust God, His plans and His love?

3 – He cared more about God’s presence than “arriving.”

See Exodus 33:15 – I will not go without Your presence.

What is it I want most? God or a certain place/achievement/position?

4 – He made God’s will his goal instead of his own personal glory.

Not only would he not be the one to lead the people into the Promised Land, he had to purposefully encourage the next leader.

Am I encouraging people who may go farther than me?

5 – He was willing to carry a vision that was about someone other than himself, thinking and acting generationally instead of selfishly.

Ummmmm… Wow.

Am I willing to sow where I may never see the harvest this side of heaven?

How these truths challenge me in the best of ways. They tell me that Moses wouldn’t want me to be offended for him. He would want me to learn from him. Because this life? It’s not all about me and my own personal pursuits. And there is no destination, no dream, and no personal desire that will ever fill me like an intimate, daily walk with my God.

Father God, how thankful I am that You love this stiff-necked woman. Forgive me for all of the times I have pulled back from You when things haven’t gone my way. Help me to be more like Moses, Lord. Help me to follow You even in the midst of disappointment. Help me to willingly sow into others – even when they’re doing what I long to do. And help me to delight in You daily instead of living with my eyes fixed on some distant destination. I want to live a life where I am less “entitled” and more obedient and faithful, less “arrival”-minded and more right now presence enjoying, less about me and more about Your Kingdom, less grumbly and more life-speaking no matter what. Today, I say “yes.” Even if the dreams I am carrying right now are never realized, I will follow You. Amen. 

Praying for us all today. That God would indeed be our deepest desire and our greatest pursuit. Because the promise of His presence is far sweeter than any “promised land” where we may long to go.

Much Love,

10 thoughts on “What if Your Dreams DON’T Come True?

  1. Pingback: Only the Good Stuff: Multivitamins for Your Weekend [04.16.16] | A Holy Experience

  2. Kimberly,

    I just saw your post because of Ann Voskamp’s link to it and I need to tell you sister that it was exactly what The Lord wanted me to hear in this moment. I am a single woman who longs for a husband and children and I am surrounded on every side by friends who are entering that place while I am left outside and the Holy Spirit challenged me through you to continue encouraging and helping those who are living in that land and to press in even closer to my God and Savior as Moses did for He is truly all I need and fulfills every soul longing with Himself. Thank you and God bless you for your faithfulness!

    • Sweet Ruth, I am so thankful He had encouragement for you in these words! It can be so hard – being in a place of longing while it seems like everyone around us is living our dream. So thankful you are pressing in to Him and choosing to keep trusting Him. Know that I am lifting you up in prayer tonight! May He fill your heart to overflowing, and may He move in your life in sweet and unexpected ways.

  3. Kimberly,

    I too found you through Ann Vos Kamp. Your words and insight remind me of my own thinking and adjusts my vision. Thank you for your courage to be transparent for all of us. Your lovely heart rings true and brilliantly! My husband has Alzheimer’s Disease, and of course, that was never planned by us, but in the Lord’s sovereign plan, He has bonded our hearts and souls closer to His, trusting daily, and He has sent us places we would not go otherwise to demonstrate His love to others. Thank you for your encouragement. God bless you as He shines His face upon you and yours.

  4. Wow…never heard or read anything close to this on a subject about Moses…and it was so for me! This is a keeper I will read again and again and share with others.
    Thanks so much!
    May He continue to richly bless you!

  5. Kimberly,
    Thanks for such encouraging words. I have lately been struggling with the thought that all of my effort to live a Christ-like life have not produced the desired results. Not in me or in my family. But maybe, when it’s all boiled down, I just feel entitled to better results. I used to think that good deeds would eventually be rewarded even in this life but the truth is most people just take advantage of me. However, I do believe that our ultimate reward is the presence of Christ in our daily lives. And, that indescribable rewards will be ours in eternity (which will be a fuller presence of Christ).
    Thanks again.

  6. Pingback: When your dreams don’t come true | Prayer Lights

  7. Thank you for this encouragement! This past year or so God has had me on a major “trust journey”…it’s always something I’ve struggled with, trusting my life fully to Him, when I have so many hopes and dreams and desires, when I feel like I know best and if I could just do things my way, I’d get the things I want. It’s been a process, a daily endeavor, but I feel like I’m finally at the place where I trust Him completely, come what may. I’m reminded of a beautiful Elisabeth Elliott quote: “Perhaps some future day, Lord, Thy strong hand will lead me to the place where I must stand utterly alone; alone, oh gracious Lover, but for Thee.”

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