Dreams of a Child

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At a recent family dinner, Brady and Noah began to regale us with their grand plans for their lives. They told us that they wanted to live in a very big “shack” by the seashore where they would have lots of money and spend all day fishing and playing video games. We told them that it sounded like they just wanted to retire ☺. When we asked who would do all the chores, they answered that they would build a robot to do all the cooking and cleaning for them. I want that robot for myself!! I’m sure that the kids in your life tell you similarly fascinating and fantastical stories as well. A few thoughts popped into my head as they were entertaining us with their dreams…

  • Imagination and the God of the Impossible: One of the things that always impresses me about children is the depth and breadth of their imagination. They aren’t hindered by the reality of the world, and so can dream fantastic and whimsical dreams. Of course, many of these dreams are just that—dreams. But I also wonder about how life tends to make us jaded to what may actually be possible by God’s power. We tend to limit what God can do in, around and through us because we are “realistic.” This tendency develops even though God has done something humanly impossible in our lives by saving us from sin and death and continues to do supernatural things around us all the time. In fact, this is the very problem that the Rich Young Ruler has in Luke 18. He comes to Jesus wanting to obtain eternal life but becomes discouraged that he can’t buy it or earn it himself. He asks Jesus, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus answers, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27) William Carey took this to heart when he began to see what God wanted to do through His people in reaching the world for Christ. Carey said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” What a marvel that we have a God who is able to do the impossible! Do we really believe that? Are we willing to dream what seems impossible? Are we willing to attempt a great work from God? Paul sure believed that God could do more than we can imagine both for now and for eternity. “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21)

  • Naivete and the Need for Maturity: The other side of the imagination coin can often be the pitfall of naivete. We must always be willing to dream big dreams and not put God in a box. However, we must never allow freedom to become an excuse for naivete and a failure to mature in Christ. This is one of the great balances in the Christian life. We need both childlike faith (a total dependence on God) and adult-like discernment. The Apostles speak of our need for maturity throughout the New Testament. Grab your Bible and consider these verses:

    • Ephesians 4:11–14

    • 1 Peter 2:1-3

    • 2 Peter 1:3-11

    • Hebrews 5:11-6:3

  • Sorrow and the Quest for Hope: The unfortunate reality to this endeavor for balance between childlike faith and adult-like discernment is the gaining of sorrow. Solomon describes this phenomenon in Ecclesiastes 1:18, “Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.” The more we mature, the more we realize just how broken our world is and just how broken we are. We gain a greater sense of the seriousness of our sin and its deadly effects. As sorrow comes with knowledge, so hope must arise out of truth. Though our world is broken, Christ has overcome the world (1 John 2:15-17). Though our lives have been racked by sin, Christ has brought new life (2 Cor. 5:17). I think this is why passages like Rom. 8 resonate so deeply with our souls.  What great hope comes from knowing that we can never be separated from the love of God. Let us say with Paul, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38-39)

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Where are you in these areas? Do you truly have childlike faith? Are you growing in maturity in discernment and truth? Has sorrow overcome you? Be comforted today. God is worthy of our total trust. He is wants to work in us to bring us to Christlikeness. And in Him we have a hope that will not disappoint. “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12)

Originally Published in the FBC Bonham October Newsletter