A God-Created Dream

Dear Friends, 
A God-Created Dream

One of my favourite houseplants is the orchid. The flowers are so beautiful and delicate and come in such a variety of colours. 

A few years ago, my first orchid had some lovely pink/purple flowers. When its blooms had died I cut down the stem ready for it to produce new growth. I watered it regularly, but nothing happened. There was no new growth. I wondered if I had somehow killed it. So, after weeks of caring for it with nothing to show, I decided I'd ask Jason's Dad to look after it. He came to look at it before taking it off my hands and pointed out to me something I had missed. Under one of the leaves was a new shoot growing. I was so excited! I didn't need to pass it over to Jason's Dad, I could continue to look after it and watch it grow and blossom.

I am learning how to best take care of and nurture my orchid. To encourage growth and blooms, I have found it needs the right environment - it seems to like being in my kitchen the best. It needs regular watering and feeding. And it also likes some sunlight.

It has made me realise how taking care of a flowering plant is like taking care of a God-created dream. Let me explain...

I believe God plants a dream in each one of us. Something he has created just for us and he instils within us the desire to see that dream fulfilled. It begins as a small seed which he plants in our hearts. Generally, I have found that if it's a God-created dream then it stays with us, no matter what happens in our lives. Even when nothing seems to be developing, God keeps drawing us back to it.

We expect that seed of a dream to grow immediately, but, as in nature, it takes time for a seed to grow. However, between the time of God sowing that seed in our heart and it growing and blossoming, we need to be tending to it and carefully nurturing it. He has entrusted it to our care and we don't want it to die whilst in our keeping.

We can care and nurture it in the following ways:
1. Feed and water your dream
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16 (ESV)

We feed our dream with God's Word, reminding ourselves of the promises he has made to us. We need to be regularly reading our Bibles so that we are constantly nourished. I'm not very good at remembering things, so I keep a journal in which I write everything I believe God is saying to me, the promises he has made me, the things I am learning from him.

2. Place your dream in sunlight
How happy are those who have learned how to praise You; those who journey through life by the light of Your face. Psalm 89:15 (VOICE)

Our dreams need son-light - we need to live in the light of Jesus' presence with us. We need time with him, building a relationship with him, sharing our hopes and dreams with him, as we would with a close friend. As we spend time in his presence we flourish and become like him. Our time with him actually becomes more important than seeing our dream grow and flourish. He shows us how to look at our dreams differently, he shows us where they need tweaking to fit with what God has planned for us. He points out to us if anything needs cutting in order to promote new growth. 

3. Establish the right environment for your dream 
I will plant a new heart and new spirit inside of you. I will take out your stubborn, stony heart and give you a willing, tender heart of flesh. 27 And I will put My Spirit inside of you and inspire you to live by My statutes and follow My laws. 28 Then you will live in the same land I gave your ancestors; you will be My people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:26-28 (VOICE)

Our dreams need good, soft soil if they are to grow. Our hearts need to be that good, soft soil. The Holy Spirit provides the best environment for our dream to grow. When it seems to be taking forever for anything to happen, it's so easy for other things to grow in its place - such as discouragement, unbelief, bitterness, etc. We need the Holy Spirit to soften our hearts, to root out anything which can hinder growth. We need hearts that are open to the work of the Holy Spirit, hearts that keep trusting God and his will for us. We need patience and self-control so that we don't try to force growth before it's ready, and we need perseverance.

In my experience, I have also found that there are certain things I can do to keep the soil of my heart right, ways to partner with God in the growth and development of my dream. These include:
  • Having a heart that is teachable. I want to keep learning all I can and growing my character, the gifts and skills God has given me, to prepare me for when God says, "Now is the time for your dream to blossom." For me, this includes reading books by authors I respect and who are further on than me in seeing the realisation of their dream. Learning from others who are in women's ministry. For you, it may include going to seminars or watching them online, taking part in workshops, becoming part of a team etc.
Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser.
Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Proverbs 9:9 (NLT)
  • Encouraging others. Something I've found which helps to keep the soil of my heart soft
    is to encourage others in their dreams, particularly those who are already doing what I so long to see done in my own life. We are not on earth to compete with each other. We are here to love, support and encourage one another. There is room for each of our dreams to bloom and flourish. What a glorious sight God's garden is as his God-created dreams grow and blossom from the small seed he has planted in each of us.  What beauty in the incredible variety of colours, shapes and sizes. How wonderfully they complement one another. And how God is glorified in it all. 
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

Sometimes it may seem as though our dreams are dead and buried, just as I thought my orchid had died. But actually, God is keeping it safe in our heart until the time is right to grow.  It may be that your dream is in a season of preparation for growth, and whilst there may be no or little evidence of it, the seed is still there waiting for the right time to bud. 

God is the head gardener and we are the under-gardeners. As we wait for God's timing let's continue to take care and nourish the seed of a dream he has planted within us.

To Think About
What is your God-created dream? What seed has he planted deep within you which you long to see fulfilled?

As you wait for this dream to grow and blossom what can you do to tend to it and nurture it? How are you feeding it and watering it? Are you providing it with plenty of son-light? How does the Holy Spirit provide just the right environment for growth?

What can you do to keep the soil of your heart soft and in just the right condition for growth?

Vicki

If what you read was of interest to you, then you may like to know that my book "Dear Friend...52 Weekly Devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire" is available to buy from Amazon, on Kindle or in paperback. (Its content is material adapted from past blog posts.) To learn more, click on the link below:

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