How many of you have a dream in your heart but feel like it's completely unattainable? You can see it so clearly, and maybe in burns in your heart, but it feels impossible at the moment.
Today I'm wrestling with a dream that I want to see happen. I can see it and almost touch it, but the steps to that goal aren't clear. This is the moment where a dream stays a dream, or you can begin to take that idea to God, pray, and receive His strategy for its fulfillment.
“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Sometimes it's easier to give up on a dream than believe God answers prayer. Timing, His perfect will, and other people sometimes tie into the answer He gives, but if we really believe that He loves us and has a plan for our lives, the "impossible" walls around our dreams may just be there to test our tenacity. Prayer is an amazing place of action, where we lay our dreams before God and listen for His heartbeat and strategy.
This idea reminds me of Heidi, a story from my book Finding Beautiful.
Her biggest dream was to be a wife and mother. After praying and fasting for her husband from the tender age of nine and marrying her true love, Heidi was devastated to discover the hidden life of addiction and abuse within the life of her husband. Her dreams came crashing down at a young age when her marriage fell apart and she found herself all alone in a strange country. Yet God was not finished with her dreams, and she discovered Hie power of restoration and a special gift of love that was woven into this chapter of her journey. God loves dreams and is faithful to carry them when we trust Him!
Check out Finding Beautiful here:
Every time we flip on the TV or step into a check out line at the grocery store, we are met with the media's depiction of worldly beauty. To be honest, it sometimes feels to me like the world has done a better job of identifying and enjoying beauty than the church, but since God is the author of real beauty, I thought we could camp out on a few aspects of His definition of beauty.
This marks the first of a 12 picture series that give us an “out of the box” definition of beauty. Each of these ideas coincides with a chapter from my new book, Finding Beautiful, so there's always further reading for those interested!
Every one of the heroes of the Bible had one thing in common: they experienced amazing adventures with God. Moses met God in the desert and set a million slaves free, Esther was promoted from exile to queen, Ruth traveled to a foreign land and fell in love, David went from the outcast son to king of Israel... each one was pulled by God outside of their comfort zones to follow His leading into an adventure that rivaled anything they could have imagined. Many were lauded later in Hebrews 11 as having the faith that pleased God in powerful ways.
I created this photo with the idea of stepping into the unknown without knowing the next step or even where the sea will part in order to move forward. In our world today, we might call it feeling insecure or unstable. In the Bible, it's called faith, and it involves embracing the beauty of God's adventures without always knowing the outcome. This can be a little intimidating, but it can also be exhilarating as we watch God show up and move us forward in amazing ways! Finding and following His adventure for our lives is a beautiful thing, and we can always be confident of this truth:
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
One young woman I interviewed for Finding Beautiful was Lauren, who planned on living a very normal life until God called her into missions. Eventually this led to a trip around the world, where she simply asked God which nations she was called to serve, and often saw miraculous situations occur as the way opened up before her. Her before/after life makeover shoot looked like this.
What are the places of adventure in your life? Do you feel completely settled and comfortable in your current situation, or are there areas you are stepping into the waves and trusting God to part the waters for? I believe this kind of adventure is so valuable and beautiful to God. Maybe it doesn't mean taking a trip around the world, but it may involve embracing His lead in an area of life you feel unsure or not confident in. How are you watching His adventure unfold in your life?
Prayer: Father, thank You for promising that You will never leave me. Show me how to tap into the beautiful adventure You are calling me into!
Recently I was reminded of a picture that I'd created that tells a beautiful story. It's been used in past devotionals, but since our nation has recently celebrated the National Day of Prayer, I thought it would be timely to remind ourselves of this important truth: the power of the secret place of prayer.
The Grimm brothers recorded the tale of a princess who was locked in castle room and told to turn a pile of straw into gold. It was not something she could accomplish on her own, but a creature appears and helps her accomplish the task, and she does such a good job that the King asks for her hand in marriage. In the fairy tale, the imp who does the gold-spinning is an evil creature with malicious intent, but the Lord is offering to be our Helper with a different motive: I believe is calling His Bride into the secret place of prayer in order to entrust her with great treasure! It's in the secret place of prayer with Him that straw is turned to gold.
I feel like the Lord recognizes that our time is precious, since there are so many good things vying for our attention, and therefore our time is costly. Yet if we entrust Him with our time and invest it in the secret place, He will bring us things of even greater value. In comparison, the treasure He will entrust us with for investing our time with Him is like gold compared to straw. In that place of prayer, we can rest and receive His peace and grace for our daily lives.
“Where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? ...the gold and crystal cannot equal it: the exchange of it shall not be for jewels or fine gold.” Job 28:12, 17
The Lord promises us wisdom when we ask Him, so I believe the place of wisdom is found in the secret place, where He takes the time we invest in prayer and brings treasure from it. Also from this place comes gold tried in the fire mentioned in Revelation 3:18:
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich;
How do we buy gold? We purchase it with our time, investing it in the secret place of prayer and meeting with the Lord. It's here that our hearts become rich with the depth of His love, wisdom, and fellowship with the King of Kings. He literally takes our straw and spins it to gold!