When Dreams Can’t Come True

My favorite books and movies aren’t necessarily the ones with happy endings. They are the ones that make you feel the most intense emotions. This story of David’s has all the right drama. He’s secure and stable time at a in his life. God has blessed him as king and taught him many deep lessons. He should be in his glory days, enjoying the fruit of his labor and his walk with God. Instead, one of his sons lets bitterness and resentment boil up into ambition and betrayal. Absalom claims the throne in Hebron. If David fights this new army and wins, he loses his son. If David fights and loses, he loses everything.

I don’t want to write this blog this week. I don’t want to wrestle with my response when my dreams can’t come true. I don’t want to feel all the feelings of my own life and circumstances. I want to be able to just close the book or turn off the TV. I want to nod, sigh, and move on. I wish it were that simple. But that brokenness in this world that surrounds me also threatens from within.  

If I’m honest, my life has turned out nothing like I imagined or planned fifteen or twenty years ago. In some regards, the pain of unfulfilled expectations still sears hot and deep. There are moments when I’m caught off guard by the intensity of a longing for a life I don’t have. There are hours when the wounds I thought healed long ago still take my breath away. Someone out there has what I thought I should by this time in my life.

And if we are all honest, we all feel the same. Someone else’s reality is our unreachable dream. Our electronic connectedness seems to only exacerbate our comparison paranoia.

But I can’t base God’s goodness on whether my dreams and plans come true. Hasn’t he already done the impossible? Hasn’t He already saved me? And come what may, isn’t that enough?

Even here in the place where I am right now, I can see his faithfulness and feel his mercy. I’m overwhelmed with the beauty of the small things that my heart could not have bent to notice had it not been broken. There is abundant grace in even being able to see my need of Him now – a grace that only seems to dance and grow with each passing day.

David inquires of the Lord. He flees the city to try and avoid war. He sends the ark back into Jerusalem as he leans into God’s sovereignty. He refuses to bargain with and manipulate God as he clings fast to God’s goodness. “If I find favor… he will bring me back…” But if not, I am ready. “…let him do to me what seems good to him.” (II Sam 15:25-26)

But if not. Those words vibrate clear to the core of my being and I am undone. Can I mean that? If this earthly longing for a family is never fulfilled… If this business never gets off the ground… If these new dreams and visions never come true… If I never see anything but failure and tribulation from this point on… Am I ready? Do I trust God to do what seems good to Him even when I cannot see the good?

I’ve gone my own way before. I’ve wrenched my plans from God’s hands and willed what I thought best. It ended in disaster. So, not my will, Lord, but yours be done. Be my vision and my one desire. Help me to trust in You and lean not on my own reasoning. Let me always remember and say, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23)

Writer Bio:

Amber Sperlich attends Mitchell Wesleyan Church where she is a part of the communications team. She writes to process her personal thoughts and meditations on the MWC messages and the text preached each week, and we thought we’d share some of them with you.

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