Inspiration for My Feeble Heart {Chasing Dreams and Doubts}

He had a dream 2 years ago, a real in-the-night dream and not something he thought up during church. Sometimes you wake in the morning after having lived a whole life in your dreams, and you are just dog-tired. The night passed too quickly and the dream too slowly, and your morning feels like the first day of forever. Like everything in your reality might be a let down after waking.

And was the dream from the Lord?

Was it real and inspired or just the consequences of too much imagination? Too much wishing, and  maybe too much pizza?

He acted on it with faith and obedience, took steps and moved forward, all the while listening for Reality to wake him up if he was wrong.

Because who wants to pour themselves into a dream of your own crazy-making?

feather in the sand

 "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

Your old men shall dream dreams,

Your young men shall see visions." ~ Joel 2:28 NKJV

We read of Bible-dreams that seemed obvious and neon and we doubt our own. We doubt what we might have heard on our feather pillows, and the further we get from slumber the more we question ourselves, or God, or whoever.

We want to run to our Eli for answers.

There are dreams that we star in and centerstage is all about us, and we can be pretty sure our own minds inspired those.

There are dreams full of just plain weirdness and nothing makes sense and how'd you even get into Walmart without your pants on in the first place? And you wake up hating Walmart.

But there are other dreams that don't leave you.

glowing farm

hay bales in the morning

He says he's giving it 5 years. To me and my quick-fix, short-term, instant-gratification-loving self, five years is a long time. An endless night living out this dream that still has him doubting now and then.

But he hasn't heard God say no and he hasn't found any reason not to pursue this dream, so he just goes on.  The obstacles make him question and the mistakes are frustrating, but he just goes.

Maybe we get off course and maybe we make up things, but God sees our holy intentions. He sees hearts that are loyal and He says He will strengthen those.

A feeble heart might just need a dream to chase.

I have this friend. She's 67 years old and a widow, and she just had surgery on her broken back. She'll come home from the hospital today to rest and recover, and when she is healed up she'll head back to Africa. She'll probably buy a one-way ticket, probably find a new home for her cat and her furniture, and probably live out a dream that many would shrink back from.

And I wonder what dreams I've given up too easily and too early in the morning? 

 

Linking up with Grace Laced Mondays, MercyInkThe Wellspring, and  #TellHisStory

 

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When You're Afraid of the Questions

He's been a Christian for two days now and he wants to know why he doesn't see miracles yet.

The honesty of a child and the questions he's unafraid to ask, they all produce weak answers from me and bring up the questions of my own.

"Every time you venture out in your life of faith, you will find something in your circumstances that, from a commonsense standpoint, will flatly contradict your faith. But common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense." ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

God is not afraid of our questions, but me? I want to explain to this child how open eyes will see miracles everyday and how the dirt-becoming-man was enough, but then the King-became-man and turned every miracle upside down.

I want to explain because maybe I'm afraid that if he doesn't get the right answers, his faith will cease?

Wasn't rising from the dead enough miracle for all our lifetimes? But he didn't see that one.

I want to put miracles into words that a 7 year old can understand, but where are the words for me, the ones that will make it all clear and common sense?

Jesus said to her, ’Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’ —John 11:40

Martha's common sense worried about the smell and the time that had passed and why wasn't Jesus here earlier.  She would've had very practical answers for my 7 year old.

But then she saw the glory of God.

I remember faith-growing moments.

I remember praying out loud that we would see a bear on our drive through the backroads, and answering their child-questions with faith. Moments after my prayer the kids were asking if I thought we were really going to see one.

Yes, I said.  And inside I feared that I had backed God in a corner.

I remember how God answered my child-questions with not one, but three bears. A mama and 2 cubs, playing right there in the road for us to see.

And the kids in the backseat who couldn't see well? How about if those cubs just climb the tree right next to the truck? The cubs all playful and my kids all bug-eyed, because we've never seen bears here in these woods before, but mama prayed.

The mountains didn't move and the storms of life didn't cease, but God heard a feeble prayer and answered three-fold, just because He loves me.

That's what I saw. Nothing earth shattering, no one healed miraculously, but just this one thing that will never leave me: God loves us and wants to show us His glory.

So when you think you need the right answers and miracles for your faith?  Look for His glory, because the sun came up this morning and it shines on this whole world full of Him, glory all around and even in you.

Don't be afraid of the questions.

 

{More pictures from Yellowstone above, but the bears?  They were right here in Oregon.}

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering That He is Good

Then His disciples answered Him, "How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?" - {Mar 8:4 NKJV}

There really is such a thing as a stupid question.  "Where will we get food?"  How about the same person who provided it last time?  How about the one who gives us bread everyday?

Ugh.

But alas, I am a disciple also.  I have my own faithless how's and where's and why's.   A lack of trust and blinded eyes will lead to all kinds of ignorance.  Lord, help me to trust.  To rest in Your all-sufficiency. 

He asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven." - {Mar 8:5 NKJV}

 

I would have asked a different question.  One with more heat and maybe some sarcasm for good measure.  "Weren't you with me on the other side of the lake?  Did you sleep through the last miracle feeding, or do you just suffer from short-term memory loss?  Has anyone ever gone hungry in my care?"

But not my Jesus.  Ever-patient, He is, and always-hopeful.  Love, suffering long and kind.  Bearing all, believing all, hoping all.  Praise God He is!  Praise God His nature is not like mine!  Dust we'd all be; smote at the first sign of doubt or insolence.

Ugh, again.

But He is this patient with me.  He is always waiting for my turning and always with open arms.  I need to spend more time with Him and I know He rubs off.  My character needs His, and my memory needs reminded of His goodness.

Isn't that sad?

Because sometimes I am surprised by answered prayer.  Sometimes I am shocked that He really does hear, He really does respond, and He really does care.

Shocked, forgetful, and thankful.

Bless the LORD, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul! - {Psa 103:22 NKJV}

 

{Counting gifts and remembering His goodness with community here.}

Each of us thankful for:

337. friends, and mom and dad

338. swimming lessons

339. sisters doing nails

340. Ethan, making his own breakfast

341. mommy telling me she loves me

342.  Oliver, playing with the cat

343.  boys, logging adventure

344. the neighbors horses

345. Star Wars

346.  sisters learning to 'do hair'

347.  friends

348. grandparents and coast trips

349. Uncle Maxx, the yellow lab

350. daddy, excited about his 'new' work truck

351. little boys shooting dad with the squirt gun

352. The Grace of answered prayer, and a friend coming home from the hospital

353.  Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

354.  the miracle of Grace