April 4 marked the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Though his physical presence came to an end that fateful day fifty years ago, his dream lives on. Many of us can probably quote portions of that famous "I have a dream speech" and find that it moves us just as deeply as it moved those who heard it over fifty years go. As the nation paused to remember King yesterday, my mind has been impressed with just how powerful dreams, like King's, really are.
Dreams drive us. Dreams move us. Through adversity or through apathy, dreams have a way of reorienting us toward truth north and urging us to keep putting one foot in front of the other toward the goal set before us. King's dream compelled a young preacher to speak and act with great courage beyond the pulpit, even if it cost him a prison. Joseph, though captive in Egypt against his will, could have easily succumbed to misery and hopelessness, but I believe the dreams of his younger years kept him clinging to God's progressively unfolding purpose in his life. Consider Paul on the borders of Asia Minor, frustration mounting as his desire to advance a second missionary tour seems to meet dead end after dead end (Acts 16:6-8). How did he persist in that season of closed doors? God gave him a dream, and that dream gave him direction and renewed passion (Acts 16:9-10).
That's what dreams do. Dreams drive us to move forward in mission, fulfilling plans and purposes that have eternal impact.
The question that crossed my mind today is a question that probably has more answers than I can adequately describe here: Does God have a dream? Absolutely. Time and again, God's desires and plans have been met with detours and difficulties, but I believe our God has a dream for humanity that compels Him to persist and persevere in achieving that grand dream of restored oneness with you and I. Many references can be drawn from, but these two spell it out clearly for me.
...For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2, NIV
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them. Revelation 21:3, NLT
No cross or cruelty would keep Jesus from doing all in His power to seek and save His lost children. Soon and very soon, this joy that was set before Jesus and is now set before us in prophetic tones will be fulfilled. That dream still lives in my heart. Does it live in yours? That dream still moves all heaven to work perseveringly for the salvation of precious souls. Does it move you and I to do the same? Let's make God's dream our dream. May we be spurred on to overcome difficulties and detours in order to fulfill God's redemptive purpose.