When Dreams Die

by Joe Plemon on July 2, 2010

We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally–not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! (2Co 1:8-9 The Message)

Have you ever had a dream die?

How did you feel? Like life isn’t fair? Like giving up? Like dying? Congratulations! You are in good company. Even the Apostle Paul went through such an ordeal. After suffering extreme hardship, he thought it “was all over”.
Yes – the great apostle Paul who proclaimed “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Php 4:13) experienced times of doubt and confusion.

Paul sees the purpose

But Paul continues, “As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally – not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead!

Beyond grieving

I do not write this to minimize the grief you experience when a dream dies. You should indeed grieve. You have lost something very dear to you. However, when the grieving lessens, remember that God is still in control and he still has plans for you. Why do you suppose Paul points out that God raises the dead? Could it be that He can likewise raise a dead dream into a new one?.

Beginnings require endings

A new beginning cannot occur until an ending takes place. Old wineskins cannot handle new wine and old dreams must be put to rest before new ones can form. Why? Because hanging onto the old hinders the new by confusing, diluting and distorting it. We need that death before a new life can begin. Yes, losing the old is painful…very painful. But God in his graciousness sometimes forces the issue so he can move us ahead to his new and better plan for us.

God had new beginnings for Paul, but He wanted to make sure the old dreams died first so Paul could turn totally to him. He likewise has new dreams for you.

Your new beginning is on its way.

Creative Commons License photo credit: blumenbiene

How about you?  What dreams have been crushed in your life?   Has God given you new dreams yet?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Squirrelers July 3, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Joe – I like this post of yours. To answer to the question you posed (without getting into specifics), I have definitely had very specific dreams crushed in my life. That said, having faith has helped me work toward some entirely different, yet very meaningful and wonderful dreams.

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joeplemon July 3, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Squirrelers,

Thanks for substantiating the point of this post. You have had some specific dreams crushed, but now faith has led you to new and different and fabulous dreams. I wonder (not trying to pry) if your new dreams would have ever developed if your previous dreams hadn’t died first.

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Financial bondage July 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

Good post. I’ve had some dreams die for sure. Some were harder to part with than others. But I guess that is life. Life is tough sometimes.

A good question to ask is: did your dream die or did you give up on it and let someone take it from you?

Sometimes there is a difference.

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Squirrelers July 5, 2010 at 1:39 am

Joe – yes. New dreams for me definitely came from original dreams ending. Sometimes, when one door shuts, another opens. A saying that I remember being told as a kid, and didn’t get it then. But I get it now.

In terms of our finances, we can apply this in many ways. For example, job loss when one has been with a company for a long time can be crushing, but it can open up the possibilities to pursue new ventures.

Life can be tough, but if a tough situation doesn’t take one’s life or even health, one can become stronger and gain wisdom from the experience. Thus, a new beginning.

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joeplemon July 5, 2010 at 11:43 am

@Financial Bondage,
Hmmm. That IS a good question. Our dreams can be taken away through no fault of our own or they can go away if we don’t pursue them. Yes, there is a difference, but I believe, either way, that God still has dreams for us.

@Squirrelers,
Isn’t it amazing how those sayings that we didn’t understand as kids start to make sense when we get older…and when we actually experience what we were told about.

Thanks for sharing great applications of the principle that when one door closes, another opens. Sometimes I pray that God will shut a particular door so that I will have guidance on what NOT to pursue.

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cmay January 20, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Like so many people before me when you read my comment you will automatically posture a defense. How is it then that to feel better you must “save” me or spread the word? Why is it then that god all powerful all knowing and all good, ALLOWS bad things to happen to good people? We in the USA analyze all numbers and stats to figure the best price, safest car, best salary, stocks to buy, sell, etc. all numbers or facts, yet the christian god is about feelings. faith, love, compassion and what is most lost in this country empathy. How do you rationalize this? Please don’t say faith, that is as old as the divine right if kings, and as much of a lie.

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joeplemon January 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm

cmay,
My hunch is that you have had some dreams die in your life. Right? How one deals with those broken dreams depends on how one sees and understands God. I choose to believe that he knows the big picture and does indeed allow “bad” things to happen to us because he has something better in mind. He closes one door so he can open another one. Of course, one could choose to see God as a mean spirited divine who delights in seeing humans suffer. These people tend to blame God for their troubles.

How do you see him?

As for me, I was drafted into the Army two months after getting married, and eventually sent to Viet Nam. Not my idea of a good thing. But “bad” for me turned out to be good because it was while I was serving in the Army that I met Jesus Christ and gave my life to him. That was over 40 years ago and I have never stopped being thankful for that “bad” thing that God allowed.

When one thinks about it, I would guess that 90% of the bad things that happen to us are because of what we have done to ourselves (stupid choices) or what other people have done to us. In other words, God has allowed us to choose our own paths; paths which often lead us into trouble. Yet he is still there for us no matter how much of a mess we make of our lives. I am very thankful that he is.

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