Sunday, June 2, 2013

Like Those Who Dreamed

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.   Psalm 126:1-3

The words jump off the page "... like those who dreamed."  

Who are these dreamers?  They are people God delivered from exile.  They were people who got their lives back. God restored them. They are those who experienced first hand what only God can do - and He did it for them!  

What happens in the hearts of people who begin to grasp the enormity of what God has done for them?  God's grace in action does more than inspire dreams, He creates dreamers:

  • dreamers filled with laughter and songs of joy; 
  • dreamers whose lives are so different that others concede the great things God has done for them.

When God does what only God can do, He creates dreamers who dream what He might do next.  

This has been God's dream for His people all along.  It was the Pentecost dynamic in Acts 2:

This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 
'In the last days, God says,   I will pour out my Spirit on all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy,   your young men will see visions,   your old men will dream dreams... 
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
Salvation does more than save us from our sins and our past; salvation sets us free for yet unseen possibilities and futures.  For the redeemed, there is no going back, only forward with Jesus.  That's why tears flow out of this verse from Wesley's great hymn And Can It Be! 

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

Dreams take us to new places.  Ever had a dream when you were sleeping that seemed so real you were certain it really happened - and you wished it had?  When I was six years old I had a dream I walked out to my front yard, began flapping my arms up and down, and started to fly.  It was an awesome flight!  I woke up and excitedly told my family about my new-found skill.  They were unconvinced and a little concerned.  Attempts to recreate the experience grounded me back on earth.  However, I can't help but imagine that other six year olds before me had similar dreams, like the Wright brothers from Ohio.    

History is replete with God's dreamers: Abraham, Joseph, Esther, David, Isaiah, Peter, Lydia, Paul, and John, just to name a few.  More recently, William Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Bob Pierce, Gary Haugen and others have inspired us with dreams of God's redemptive possibilities in the world.  

As inspiring as God's dreamers are from the past, today is our day.  It is our day to grasp again 

  • the enormity of God's love, 
  • the enormity of God's saving work in Jesus, 
  • the enormity of the resurrection, 
  • the enormity of God's glorious riches of this mystery, Christ in you, the hope of glory.  
Overwhelmed by what God has done for us in Jesus, it is our day to be unleashed like those who dream what He might do next.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.  Ephesians 3:20

What do you think?

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