Our Unfulfilled Dreams
‘Time in the Word’ By Clayton Adams
Unfulfilled dreams – we all have them. When I was ten years old I dreamed of being a missionary in China. If you are like me and have unfulfilled dreams, we are in good company. In the Bible there are many people who had unfulfilled dreams. Perhaps the most interesting of all the unfulfilled dreams was that of king David of ancient Israel.
God was with David even while he was a young boy tending his father's sheep. When the first king of Israel, Saul, didn't do right, God told him, that the kingdom would be taken from him and given to another whose “heart was after God.” The kingdom was taken from Saul and given to David. David proved to be a fearless, mighty and a most excellent of warrior. David killed thousands of men himself and led his army in many battles.
One day, king David reflected on the fact that he was living in a very nice house and the Ark of the Covenant was kept in a tent surrounded by curtains. To Israel and others, the Ark of the Covenant symbolized the power and presence of God. David had a dream to build a temple for the Ark. David called upon Nathan, the prophet for his approval. He approved and said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.” (1 Chronicles 17:2) But that very night God changed David and Nathans' plans.
As Nathan said to David “… God is with you” so God is with you. God allows us to make our plans, but we read of one important fact, “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) Meaning, follow after your dreams, but in the end, God directs your steps. He alone closes and opens doors of opportunity. True, God allows us to act on our emotions and desires but in all cases, His Will triumphs over our actions.
David, as king of Israel, was in the will of God. As king he killed thousands of his enemy in battle. David's dream to build a temple was good but God told David that he would not build the temple because he was “a man of war and had shed blood.” (1 Chronicles 28:3) King David, after all of his successes in war and leading the nation of Israel was told that he would not fulfill his dream of building the temple. David planned it, contracted for the building equipment and decorations, set aside the funds needed to complete the temple but he could not build the temple someone else was chosen to build it. This seems to be unfair, for one to do all God told him to do and doing all he was told disqualified him from fulfilling his dream.
Allow me to be personal for the sake of explaining why God did not allow David to build the temple and the value and purposes of unfulfilled dreams. I was in the transportation business with the largest trucking company in America (at that time) when I moved to West Memphis. I left that business to pursue the ministry. I left ministry to pursue nursing and I now pursue ministry and medicine. However, I have an unfulfilled dream of earning a nursing degree, and that dream seems to slip farther away each year. However the pursuit of my dream has been nothing short of exciting and fulfilling.
To make a long story short, I have explained my dream of earning a nursing degree like this. I believe God told me to go to nursing school. I was pursuing this when certain events uncontrolled by me changed and I was unable to pursue the dream. But other doors opened and I have had a wonderful time combining ministry and medicine, all the while the dream of a nursing degree is still alive and well. It's as if I am taking a long train ride and I keep taking detours along my journey.
In my mind, I see myself walking across the graduation stage, accepting my diploma for nursing and on the way down the stairs I trip and fall, break my neck and die. I quickly arrive in heaven and am standing before God and I blurt out, “I thought you called me to go to nursing school?” To which God replies, “I did call you to go to nursing school but I never said you would be a nurse.” This humorous antidote gets me through some frustrating times.
Sometimes we forget that we make our plans but it is God who directs our steps. My journey to fulfill this dream has been full of opportunities to be God's hands extended. Too, I've been immensely blessed by hundreds of people I've met during my journey. My dream is very much alive in my heart but I've come to realize that dreams are used by God to move us into encounters with other individuals. I hope that I have blessed others.
It is while we pursue our dreams that we find the true value of our life – in this life we prepare for our eternal life. A college education is good but it doesn't bring happiness, a high paying is great but it does not bring happiness either. True happiness is to understand the purpose for which God created us and that God uses unfulfilled dreams to accomplish His plans and purposes. We'll understand all things perfectly in the hereafter.
King David made it possible for the temple to be built even though it was someone else who built it. Sometimes one person's dream sets the stage for someone else for someone else to achieve his or her dream.
If you have an unfulfilled dream, know that God is with you. He may indeed allow you to fulfill your dream but remember the higher purpose you have. God is using you to accomplish His Will in the lives of others. That is a life worth living and a fulfilled life.
Clayton Adams has a message of faith he would like to share with the community. He would also like to hear from you. E- mail him at claytonpadamslll@ gmail. co m.