Of course, right when I’m the most busy, I suddenly get inspiration for posts (however short)! I’m supposed to be studying for a test as I write this, but my mind can’t focus, and I can’t make myself pay attention to every unimportant fact about the Northeast’s geographic features. Solution – I focus on a post instead! I think I’ve got this procrastination thing nailed down…
Anyway, to my post. I’ve already shared my desire to go to Africa for mission work one day; missions has been an interest of mine since I was little. But I’ve been dreaming about Africa a lot lately, and it’s gotten me discouraged. I really want to be in Africa right now. Really bad. I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m really desiring to honor, serve, and glorify God with my whole life, and I’ve got a long way to go. I believe God has laid it on my heart to serve Him in Africa one day, and I really wish I could be there, though I’ve never been to Africa in my life. (In fact, the “Africa” section of my geography book is a major distraction I keep flipping to – not good for a restless mind needing to study the States!) But I can’t be there now, for many obvious reasons. I’ve been wanting to go on a trip to Africa for a year now, and haven’t been able to for financial reasons. I’m discouraged.
I was sharing my disappointment and discouragement with a friend a few days ago, and they told me a point that gave me a new perspective on my ambition. They told me to surrender my dream to God, to give it up completely. Heard it before? Not a revolutionary phrase? It was for me. I’ve heard it before; “Give God your dreams”. But I hadn’t considered that in light of this dream of mine. I mean, I’ve viewed my desire to go to Africa one day as “from God”, so why would I give it up if it was from Him? Why would I surrender my dream of doing what I believe God desires me to?
It’s not my dream. It’s not my vision. It is a dream God agave me, for the purpose of His glory. He did not give it to me and say, “Go; use it well, and use it wisely.” He says, “Here is this dream; I will show you how I want you to use it. I will use you where I want to use you. I will use you when I want to use you. I will open the doors, make the path, make a way – only, leave it up to me. Don’t take it upon yourself. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” How many times do we take our future, our goals, our dreams, our ambitions, into our own hands? How many times do we think we’ve got it under control, or stress out trying to figure out what happens next? He has a plan for us, to give us hope and a future and for us to prosper, He’s not going to give you a dream and turn you loose to figure out what to do with it. He doesn’t always make the way crystal clear, but He’s not going to just abandon you and leave you to go it alone. He gives us dreams to give us a direction and a passion for doing it all for His glory. He did not give us dreams to do with as we please, and to use for our own selfish gain or interest. He gave us dreams, that we might glorify Him through them.
If God wants me in Africa one day, then for crying out loud He will make a way one day! Instead of gazing off into space, daydreaming of another place I can’t be used in now, I need to focus on how I can be used where I am now.
Surrender your dreams. Give them up. That doesn’t mean to kill your dreams; it simply means give up your “right” to them, your “ownership”. Your dream does not belong to you; it is not yours. Give your dreams to God, and allow Him to show you how they can be used for His glory.
Now, off to go study for a test!