The excitement mounted with each passing moment. As the anticipation grew, so did the smile on her face. With each movement of the minute hand on the clock, her long awaited desire was giving birth to a dream that once seemed unreachable. Finally, the time arrived where her dream and reality collided! Her feet were ten feet off the ground! It was just as she imagined; enchanting, wonderful, and made her feel like she was the most important person in the world. Life is good.
That is one scenario. But, it’s not always like that is it?
With each day that passed she took out her red marker, and crossed off the days on the calendar. Each red mark indicated yet another day which all of her efforts, hard work, and dedication went by the wayside. Her eyes look backwards and begin to dietcet where things may have went wrong. She pulls back the layers of each event, mile marker, and heart ache to see if she can see where the decay began to grow. Were there octagon signs that flashed along the way telling her to “Stop”? Did the rose colored glasses she wore make her color blind to the signs? Now she finds herself knocking on the door of despair. Her empty basket says it all. Hope, dreams, and aspirations have all spilled out. What is left are all the unanswered questions.
Most of us can probably relate to both women. Men, you too can probably relate when a goal you’ve had did not come to fruition.
The differences are easy to determine. Both scenarios began with a dream, a desire, a goal, an aspiration. But, each one ends differently. If you are like me you have experienced both scenarios throughout your life.
Each one begins with the same thing: a dream with a desired outcome, and an expectation. The expectation is that it will come to fruition, and give birth to a new venture, experience, or life.
In neither one did the woman think it would be easy. Perhaps that’s what makes it more precious; when we have worked through the pains of labor, and at the end see the baby and hear its cries! And perhaps, that’s what makes it more painful; when it ends with a stillbirth. With both there was hope, an expectation, and a dream, and each had a different ending. One saw fulfillment the other – devastation. The book of Proverbs says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Pr. 13:12 NLT).
Maybe some experience the second scenario more than the first. You find that your heart is sick. Instead of living a dream you are living a nightmare. Vernon Brewer, in his book Why?, says “If you feel like you’ve been consumed in the fires of a trial in your life….or like you are being crushed by its pressures, take heart. Good things will come to you as you persevere!” (Brewer p.107) I understand this may be difficult to believe as you stand in front of the door of despair with nothing, but an empty basket.
But friend, you and I have to dig deep. Deep into the recesses of His Word. Dig towards the light to the point of needing your polarized lenses. With each dig, use your pen and paper to fill your basket with His promises. He reminds us “Fire burns in front of them, and flames follow after them. Ahead of them the land lies as beautiful as the Garden of Eden.” (Joel 2:3a NLT) Our most recent expectation may have not come to fruition, but ahead the next expectation is “as beautiful as the Garden of Eden.” I don’t know about you, but give me the garden any day!
With each dig:
Expect that God will show up. 1 Kings 18: 1-40
Expect that He will provide. 2 Cor. 9: 10 -11
Expect that He will direct you. Prov. 20:24
Expect that He knows what is best for you! Jer. 29:11
As we place our expectation in God he will fill our empty baskets. Our old dreams, desires, and aspirations are replaced with faith, hope, and trust. It is certain we will experience heart break, disappointment, and discouragement along the way because He says in James 1:2, “’when’ troubles come your way,” but with our expectation in Christ, faith, hope, and trust will never spill out! Who, or what, are you expecting things from?
“Keep company with GOD, get in on the best. Open up before GOD, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done.” Ps. 37:3-5 MSG
Right then the door to despair opens up to welcome us in, but we have already left. We are headed to “a land that is as beautiful as the Garden of Eden!” (Joel 2:3 NLT)
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2015
*picture by keepcalmpoasters