On Tuesdays we are thrilled to fling open the doors to all of YOU! We love hearing your dreaming stories…the lessons you’ve learned, the roads you’ve walked, the dreams He’s planted in your hearts! Today we are excited to welcome our dreaming sister, Charlotte Hammer, who takes us on a walk down memory lane…and also reminds us that God is always at work, even in the ups and downs of dreaming.
The dice bounced around the game board, teetered, tumbled, and spun before settling on the coveted six. Taking his cardboard cut out player, my young son counted, touching down in every square. When he landed on the big daddy slide, the one that takes you all the way from close to the top to down near the bottom, the expected tantrum ensued.
“It’s not fair!”
“I want to roll again!”
“I hate this game.”
Chutes and Ladders with my kids often provoked me to cheat. Not so I’d win but so I wouldn’t have to deal with the slide trauma. Questionable parenting, I’m sure.
Sometimes I wish God was inclined to shield me from life’s downward slides. The bumps in the road. Time spent languishing in waiting rooms. I prefer steady progress in life, especially when it comes to my God-sized dream. Even slow progress would be awesome.
But as most of us know, sometimes there are slides. Even a big daddy slide that lands you near where you started.
When God gave me a dream, I think I expected the path to move forward steadily. I knew there would be work involved. And challenges like stepping out of my comfort zone. But the slides I’ve encountered along the way have been unwelcome and unexpected. (<====Tweet this.)
Perhaps Joseph and his colorful coat felt the same way. He was given a God-sized dream. Literally. His brothers, rather than bow down to Joseph as his dream foretold, opted to sell him into slavery. Talk about a slide.
But, Joseph started moving up the game board. Slowly. Little ladders were put in his path. He found favor where he was. He was promoted, elevated, celebrated in the house of one of Pharaoh’s officials. Surely, this was where he would realize his God-sized dream.
But then he landed on the big daddy slide and ended up in prison.
I’m pretty sure Joseph must have been questioning…how could THIS be part of the plan?
We know how God fulfilled Joseph’s God-sized dream. His brothers did bow before him. Joseph saved his family, the nation of Israel, and countless other people. His family is restored.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
When we’re in the middle of the game, it’s hard to see how our God-sized dream will turn out. (<====Tweet this.) It’s difficult to find purpose in the various obstacles, closed doors, and big daddy slides.
When we get a ladder, big or small, we see God making his dream in our life a reality. Even short slides are manageable and expected. We still see the road ahead. We’re not so far behind that we can’t hold onto our God-sized dream.
But when we hit the big daddy slide, the one that lands us near the beginning, it’s disconcerting. As we slip our way down we can see the path that we took our way up, the open doors, the little victories, the answers to prayer.
Did we get it wrong? Is this part of the plan? How can this be?
Honestly, I’d love to be able to write this from the perspective of having seen my God-sized dream realized. But I’m where Joseph was when he was thrown into prison after being elevated and promoted in his previous position. So I look at how his story, his dream, played out. Joseph did not languish, whine, get discouraged, or quit–at least not long enough to be mentioned in the account in Genesis. Joseph was obedient to God even when it didn’t make sense. He lived with integrity when it wasn’t fair. He gave credit to God when it may have seemed like God had abandoned him. And in the end, years later, his dream was fulfilled.
For me, this means I need to roll the dice and move forward. Wherever this God-sized dream leads, I can trust God’s presence, provision, and peace in my life. Right now that’s all I’ve got.
But it’s enough.
Photo Credit: Ben Husmann
Charlotte Hammer is a single mom to two boys. She writes about finding God in unexpected places…the hard places, the ugly places, the shameful places, and sometimes the funny places. God is turning those places into triumphant, grace-filled places. And she’s learning that it’s never too late for God to give you a dream and a purpose. In clinging to his grace, immeasurable patience, and guidance she’s finally doing what she wanted to do all along—though she didn’t know it. You can find her at her blog Finding God in Unexpected Places, on Facebook and on Twitter.
Do you have a God-sized Dream story to tell? We’d love to have you share your journey with us!
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