Monday, January 21, 2013

"I have a Dream" (Gen 37-46)

"I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream...that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."...I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character". (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.-Aug 28, 1963)
A Dream of a clear beautiful horizon
Who can forget the "I have a dream" speech  spoken almost 50 years ago by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian man, father and Pastor. Fighting for the equality and justice of the Black American people and his legacy fights on still for the dignity and equality of all people. Through his leadership and sacrifice America can say..."look how far we've come" and can pick up the baton with courage to continue this race for equality. He and countless many have changed their world by following a dream...a dream not spurred by selfish ambition or passion but a dream delivered to their soul from above. These are dreams loaded with difficulty and frustrations...dreams filled with mountains of misunderstandings and valleys of solitude...dreams that cause hearers to tremble...they are dreams that call for the rescue of many and the confrontation of many more, tis a dream that comes from the sovereign hand of God.

This talk of God given dreams brings us right into another beautiful story recorded in the history book of the bible (Gen 37-46), of a young man named Joseph who lived in present day israel with 11 brothers. Joseph's father was Jacob and his mother Rachel and he was more loved by his father than any of his brothers. This naturally caused his brothers to hate him enough to plot to kill him but eventually settled on selling him to slavery to Ishmaelite traders on their way to Egypt and in Egypt he was sold to Potiphar an Egyptian officer. However before Joseph became a slave he had a dream. A dream that his brothers and parents were going to bow down to him, revealing that he was going to become a big ruler with great authority. Now how does one move from being a slave to being a king?

The magic word was, "...and the Lord was with Joseph"(Gen 39:2, 5, 21, 23, 45:9) and so he was successful in all he did. He moved from a beloved son to a slave boy, from head of Potiphar's household to a jail house and from jail through God's sovereign hand he becomes ruler over Egypt only second to Pharaoh.
While Joseph was ruler over Egypt he saw his dreams or rather God's dream for his life unfold in the most unlikely way. His brothers and father got to discover his true identity not before they had all submitted to his authority. His authority was God's plan not to build his pride but to save the lives of his family, Egypt and their neighbors. His entire family of 66 people move to Egypt and God blesses them with big families of their own fulfilling God's plan made to Abraham (Gen 15:13).God is faithful to His promises, His checks never bounce, you can trust Him with everything you have and are. You can let go, you are secure in His arms, it might seem most unlikely but He specializes in the impossible...will you dare to trust Him with your dream or rather His dreams for your life?

A God given Dream glows from above 
How will I know my dream is a God given one and not my own pursuit for happiness? I believe a God given dream is a mantle set on you, put on you without asking your permission. It is the dream that constrains you to an invisible wall leaving you no other choice but to walk its dark road, it is a dream that seeks the very heart of God and demands your very life. God's dream for your life will demand your complete surrender to Him and only then will you be set free to truly live and be used to be the rescuer of many. In the words of Henry Varley "The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is wholly consecrated to Him". May the buffeting of your soul with dreams that will not let us go, lead you into the arms of the giver of dreams Our God, our Lord and our Savior in Him alone shall you find rest and comfort for your soul (Mat 11:27-19).
"Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your soul"(Mat 11:28-29)
So keep that God given dream alive no matter how small you might think it is or how big it may burden you, be spurred on as you remember the cloud of witnesses in your celebrations on MLK day 2013 and as you witness today the 2nd term swearing in of our 44th President Barack Hussein Obama, remember they cheer you on to declare along with all the saints before them that..."God given dreams will come true when you rest in the arms of God", now this is true Comfort for your soul.

(If this story of Joseph motivates you watch out this year for the nationwide movie release of a modern day adaption of the story of Joseph called "Season's of Grey", you may watch the trailer here


  1. Sheila - thank you so much for this post. Your question, "How will I know if my dream is a God given one or my own pursuit for happiness?" is really convicting me today. I'm still not sure what God's plan is for me. I'm scared thinking about those valleys of solitude that I might be called to walk through. Yet I don't know where else to turn at this point. It is exactly like an invisible wall, that is such great imagery. Thank you for the reminder that above all that God is faithful and we can rest in his arms. May God continue to breathe his words through you! Love you, Jen

  2. Thank you Jen for your feedback, I can understand how you feel because I feel like that too. The perfect love that will not let us go. Thnks for reading and commenting I do not take this for granted.
    @ Cyn thanks for your encouraging words

  3. Hi, Sheila! It's me, Sarah!! :D Finally set up that GFC thang :D Way to go!
    Can't wait to read more from you!

  4. Hi Sarah Yes you are on...thank you for subscribing and reading the blog, thanks for taking this journey with me. See you in class tomorrow.


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