Shattered Dreams Part 2

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die,” (John 11:25-26 NIV).

Have you ever had a shattered dream? In my last devotion I told the story of my friend Luanne and her shattered dream when her son died on a football field. I hope you’ll go back and read it on my blog archive, Shattered Dreams part 1, if you missed it .

In the New Testament, we find a story about two sisters whose dreams were also shattered by a death in the family. Jesus received word that one of His best friends, Lazarus, was sick. In reality, by the time the messenger had made the one day journey to inform Jesus about Lazarus’ illness, he had already died. Jesus didn’t leave right away, but tarried two days before making the journey to Bethany. When Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. His death shook the entire village and many Jews from surrounding cities went to mourn their loss. For these two women, their dreams for the future were bleak – no husband, no children, no father, and now, no brother to take care of them.

When Martha heard Jesus was coming, her hopes soared and she ran to meet Him.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). Can you relate to Martha? Have you ever felt, Lord, if you had been here, this would not have happened to me. Where were you?  Where are you now?

Then it is as if she thought better of the words that had escaped her lips and said, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who has to come into the world.”

Martha went back to her home and told Mary that Jesus was on the way. Like Martha, Mary ran to meet him and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Do you see a pattern? Once again – If you had been here this would not have happened to me. Where were you?

Do you think God hurts when we hurt? Oh yes, dear sisters, God hurts.  Jesus wept when he saw the pain of those around him. He wept for the two sisters and I suspect He wept for a people who did not understand the power of God.

After four days, Lazarus’ body would have already begun to decay. Make no mistake about it: God was about to do something so incredible, no one would refute His power.

Jesus ordered the stone rolled away from the mouth of the cave which served as Lazarus’ tomb.  Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

o they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

And he did!

Jesus resurrected Mary and Martha’s dream.

Those of us who have lost a loved one may be thinking….yeah, but God didn’t bring my brother back. God didn’t save my child.  God didn’t resurrect my dead marriage. And if you read yesterday’s devotion, God didn’t bring Will back to life.

Let’s go back to Will for a moment. Did resurrection power take place after Will’s death? His mother would say a resounding “yes.”

Luanne shared with me that just days before Will’s final football game he had said, “Mom, I’ll be glad when this is all over.  Now that I’m older, I see just how unimportant all this sports stuff is.”

As Lou Ann knelt beside her boy on that football field, she begged him to keep breathing.  But then, as she felt him take his last breath, his words echoed in her heart…”I’ll be glad when this is all over.”

“It’s all over, son,” Luanne whispered. “Go on home.”

At Will’s funeral a few days after his death, Luanne stood and shared the gospel message about the Jesus Will loved so much. What was the result? Thirty people attending the service committed their lives to Christ or renewed their passion for serving Him.

“Mrs. Johnson, I gave my life to Christ today.”

“Luanne I haven’t been following Jesus like I should. I recommitted my life to Him today and I’m going to get serious about my relationship with Him.”

“Luanne, our family was in a shambles and I was thinking about leaving my husband.  After today, I have decided to make our marriage work. I see how important family is.”

“I have been putting my family on the back burner and letting everything and anything come before them. After today, I’m putting my family second only to God.”

The Johnson family continues to minister all across the state about the power of Jesus Christ that sustains us when our dreams are shattered.  Because of Will’s death, hundreds have come to Christ, many family relationships have been restored, and churches have torn down denominational walls as the Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and Pentecostals in the tiny little town have made a historical move to worship together. Being from a small North Carolina town myself, believe me, that is a miracle.

The Bible says that before we know Jesus Christ, we are dead in our transgressions.  We inherited a dead spirit from our father Adam. However, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, God gives us a new heart and a new spirit that is fully alive. This is resurrection power at its best.

Why did God allow Lazarus to die? He allowed it so His Son could be glorified through it (John 11:4). Why did God allow His own Son to die on the cross? To bring salvation to all who believe? I suspect that is the same for Luanne and Bob’s son as well.

 Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, there are some aspects of my life that have not turned out like I thought they would.  There are shattered dreams and many things which I do not understand.  However, I do know this. You are a loving God and nothing happens to me that You cannot use for your glory.  Help me to be open to see the good in the circumstances that seem at times to be so hard.  I choose to believe that You can redeem every situation in my life and use it for good. In Jesus’ name,  Amen.

What do you Think? 

Is there something that you have been praying about and perhaps you feel that God is “late?”

What can we learn about God’s timetable from today’s devotion?

In today’s devotion I quoted Jesus as saying, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”  Could it be that Jesus is saying those same words to you today?

Would you be willing to pray that God would show you the dreams He has for you?

Would you be willing to give up your unfulfilled dreams and reach forward to what lies ahead.

Read the following verse and ponder what God wants you to leave behind and what He is calling you to reach toward. “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, (Philippians 3:13b NASB).

If you are willing to reach forward and dream again, click over to my blog page and leave a comment on today’s blog entry that says, “I’m ready to dream again.”

Want More? 

Shattered dreams are a part of life, but God has big plans for each of us. Can you risk the hope that God still has dreams for your life? That He hasn’t forgotten you? Place your hand firmly in His-take a deep breath and begin the exciting journey to a place you thought you’d never find:  the dream God planned for you all along. You’ll find all this and more in my book, 5 Dreams of Every Woman and How God Wants to Fulfill Them. It also has a study guide in the back for further study.

 

63 Responses to Shattered Dreams Part 2

  1. Angella October 10, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    I am ready to dream again!
    Over the years, ups and downs have stolen my desire to hold on to the dreams I once had and believed! They have not unfolded as I desired and at time I get tired of praying for certain issues year after year. But praise God! He has not forsaken / forgotten me! There is a stirring, a reawakening and I am ready and able to dream again! It is not and never late, God is always on time!

  2. LORRAINE October 10, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    I AM READY TO DREAM AGAIN!

  3. Denise October 10, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    I’m ready to dream again.

  4. laura October 10, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    I want to be ready to dream again…my heart is aching, i miss Greg so, so much. He was my best friend, my love, my hero–he never knew a stranger and was loved by so many. 11-11-61/8-21-12

  5. Ntombi October 10, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Thank-you Sharon. I am trusting God.

  6. Lynne October 10, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    I’m ready to dream again!

  7. janine October 10, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    I AM READY TO DREAM AGAIN!

  8. Ntombi October 10, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    I am ready to dream again !

  9. Erin October 10, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    I’m ready to dream again!

  10. susan miles October 10, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    I am ready to dream again 🙂

  11. Nancy Beneteau October 10, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    I AM READY TO DREAM AGAIN!
    Sharon I will be 40 in 5 days, most of my life hasn’t gone right. The only thing keeping me going is my faith. Loving God and learning to listen to him is what drives me. I know he has big plans for me, I just have troubles being patient waiting for Him to work them out. heehee. Seriously though. I’m in some financial turmoil that I’ve grown so weary with I’ve given Him complete reign but don’t see much movement. I know God doesn’t work on earthly time but it doesn’t make things easier. This is my biggest time when I am trusting God with everything. It’s extra hard too because my husband doesn’t believe, nor does he know Jesus at all. In fact I got a taste the other day of how much he doesn’t know. I was talking to my father in law and our conversation centered around the Gospel, lightly of course. I came to find out that even though he was a Catholic, he has never read the bible and he was amazed to find out that Jesus was a Jew. That floored me. No wonder my husband doesn’t understand much about my faith, it’s never been taught to him. So I have to do my best to teach him one baby step at a time. (he doesn’t want me to preach to him). So how about bringing him to an 40th anniversary dinner for my church? Stayed tuned I’ll let ya know how it goes on Sunday. We’ll be in a whole room of a few hundred believers. When my husband complains, I say to myself God has him right where he wants him. and then I say Thank you God.
    Have a wonderful day Sharon,
    Nancy 🙂

  12. Jen Parker October 10, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    I’m ready to dream again. God has blessed me so very much because He fulfilled every single dream I had. Now I’m open to the dreams He has for me. Where will He take me? I don’t know yet. What are His dreams for me? I’m not really sure. I’ve got my eyes and ears open with a listening heart. I’m trying to do His will. Lord, please hear me. I am here. Show me what you want me to do. With unending love, Jen

  13. Beth October 10, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Oh Sharon how timely these last two devotions have been for me. My dreams for my 23 year old son have been shattered not just once, but three times in the last five years. I often find myself asking God the same question…. “if you had been here…..”. The past four years have brought HUGE spiritual growth in my life and I see God using me in ways I never would have expected. This doesn’t make the situation we are going through at the moment any easier, however I do know we serve an amazing God and sometimes I don’t give Him the credit He deserves…… I often limit His powers by putting Him in a box. I am sooooo wanting to Dream Big, step out of the boat, clear off the cluttered deck of my life and dive into the deep waters with Him. Thank you for this devotion and for allowing God to use you to touch my heart and to help me to continue to look forward and not behind.

  14. Gina October 10, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    I am ready to dream again.

  15. nkechi October 10, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    I am ready to dream again! I have already begun.

  16. Catherine October 10, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    I have been waiting to conceive for 16 months now and it certainly seems, at times, that God is late. I am, however, willing to wait for that which He has for me. Thank you for the devotional this morning that spoke to my heart.

    • Kathy October 11, 2012 at 12:38 am #

      Dear Catherine, I have been where you are. We were married 17 years and I went through 4 attempts at IVF. After much hurt and anger and wondering why God did not answer my prayers, I came to a place of accepting and moving on, trusting God knew what was best for us. Last year we were surprised with a most unexpected blessing, and this Sunday our beautiful little girl turns 1 year old. I pray you do not have to wait as long as we did for your miracle. I don’t understand God’s timing but I know and believe this was the right time for our daughter to be born. God bless you, and keep believing.

  17. Susan October 10, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    I’m ready to dream again!

  18. Violet October 10, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    God brought a shattered dream back to life for me. I have wanted to be a nurse ever since I was a little girl, and began attending an LPN program when I finished high school. I was 18 at the time, a brand new believer, and made a poor choice which resulted in my becoming pregnant. I always thought I would go back to school, but that never happened. Instead, I married, raised our children, and obtained a degree in Early Childhood Education so that I could work in my children’s school.
    Fast forward to age 46, and almost losing my husband to a heart attack. During his recovery, God spoke to me about being better prepared for our future financially. He laid nursing school ( a door that I thought was closed a long time ago) on my heart. With lots of encouragement from nurses who cared for my husband, I paid a visit to the college I obtained my first degree from, and they practically rolled out the red carpet for me! God has shown me incredible favor since then…I took my pre-reqs, was accepted into the program on my first try, am now in my second and final year, and am doing very well. I keep saying “I’m 50 years old and I’m in nursing school! I know in my heart that being a nurse is what God created me to be, and I testify freely of how he has given me back my dreams!

    Thank you for writing this blog!

    • Donna J October 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      Congratulation Violet, you are an inspiration to me that even at 50 nursing as an RN is still not too old, I too followed God with 4 children and divorced, I have now been a LVN for 10 yrs but always wanted to go back for an RN degree. I pray that one day God will open that door as well, and if not then I am content with what ever direction he leads. God is faithful and I thank you for your sharing your testimony.

  19. Munchkin October 10, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Thank you for that message. I needed it.

  20. Lisa Gammon October 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Thank you so much for that wonderful, uplifting and spirit filled story. This is what I needed to feel today. I AM READY TO DREAM AGAIN!!!!!!

  21. Missy October 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    I’m ready to dream again. Praying that God will give me a new vision, a new dream, a new direction and guidance on moving forward.

  22. Robin October 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    I am ready to dream…maybe for the first time in my life…I dared not dream before…actually, I didn’t think about dreaming…just trying to live..but God has awakened within me a desire to dream…I just don’t know what to dream…dare I ask Him what are His dreams for me? The answer is “Yes!”

  23. Aisha Cunningham October 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    I’m ready to dream again.

  24. Kathy October 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I’m ready to dream again!

  25. Jill October 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m ready to Dream again!!!

  26. Kate Walsh October 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    thanks for letting us see these photos its good.

  27. Michelle October 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    “I’m ready to dream again…” There are some aspects of my life that have seemed to take off but others are moving slowly almost to stagnation at times. But God is good, I am pressing toward what is ahead and fighting the flesh that is so resistant to change. Thank you for writing this blog this morning, Amen.

  28. Janelle October 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    I’m ready to dream again! :o)

  29. Kate Walsh October 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    that was really good it made me cry but God cries with me and hears my prayers. The whole point of death is so that the ressurection power can be used by God and people can to know Jesus . That is what I believe. When my uncle died I relised I needed Jesus he said if you know me you will be ressurected. I pray that the people I pray abuut who are dead are ressurected. I know its all down to God and His choice. 🙂

  30. Kate Walsh October 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    I forgot but……”I’m ready to dream again.” I know this is cheesy but as Owl City said “Dreams don’t turn to dust” 🙂

  31. Kim October 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    I am ready to dream and reach towards what God has planned for me!

  32. Amanda October 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I am ready to dream again! I love today’s message, it spoke to my heart. Thank you! <3

  33. Joanne October 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    I’m ready to dream again.

  34. connected in Christ October 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Sharon I know we are sisters in Christ. Each time I read a devotional you wrote I feel like you are reading the pages of my life. I llive in South Carolina and something very similar like what happened to Will, happened to a young man here in SC just Friday night. He collasped and died from an enlarged heart a condition he was born with. My heart cries out for the parent (s) of that young man. But my prayer is that his family can find peace and solidarity in his passing through Christ who is our shepard and will supply all of our needs. Thank you sister for your obedience to the Holy Spirit.

  35. heather October 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    I’m not ready yet to dream again. I want to but the pain of death is so painful. Does Luanne have a site where she talks about her journey? I need to connect with another mother who seeks the Lord in her grief

  36. Charlique Rolle October 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Im ready to dream again! You are truly an inspiration to me and I thank God for the words that he have put into you to give to us.

  37. Leigh Loomis October 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    This devotional series has come at just the right time for me. My dreams, too, have been shattered. And YES! I AM READY TO DREAM AGAIN! Praise God 🙂

  38. Tammi October 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    I am ready to dream again.

  39. Justine October 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    I am ready to dream again! Bless you sisters! Justine 😀

  40. Dawn October 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    Yes! I’m ready to dream again….to leave what lies behind! I so need to know God’s dream for me.

  41. Rita October 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Pray with me! I don’t see any hope.

  42. Patricia Page October 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Both of my Sons have recently devastated me. One won’t allow me to see my Grandchildren because we had a Family disagreement and his wife doesn’t care for me anyway. It’s been two years since I have seen my Grandchildren. My other Son is suing me for my Father’s Estate. So the Estate is frozen and I need to go back to work. I’m 64 and I thought I was a retired R.N. I am ready to see God’s Glory!

    • Donna J October 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

      God has a plan for you, he cares for you, and wants resurrection between you and your family. I am praying for you that God will soften the hearts of your sons and fill them with mercy, grace and compassion for you their mother who gave birth to them. Please don’t give up, God hears your cries and he will provide for you, I know he has for me. God Bless you.

  43. Brittany October 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    I’m ready to dream again.:)

  44. Michelle October 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    I’m ready to dream again!!!!

  45. Jeanay October 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I’m ready to dream again! Thank you so much for this devotional. I needed it.

  46. Sandy October 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    One of my biggest life lessons from our Lord is the mention that “Jesus wept” in this situation. The magnitude of why He wept should be considered ~~ Jesus, alone, knew the indescribably glory that he was required to bring Lazarus BACK TO EARTH from ~~ the very Presence of God. Really incredible !!

  47. RaShonda October 11, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    I am ready to dream again! I want…. Scratch that…. I need my heart renewed and filled with our FATHER’s desires. No longer do I want to be consumed with my selfish life dreams.
    FATHER, I pray that you annoint my ears, and those who need your desires, so that we can hear YOU. I pray that our hearts and minds are opened to receive and understand what YOU are saying. Please, FATHER, restore our “lost” dreams with the good that YOU have predestined before we were formed in our mother’s womb. In JESUS’ Name, Amen!

    Thank YOU, FATHER! I’m believing that it is already done! HALLELUJAH!!!

  48. Eve October 11, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    I am ready to dream again. I pray that God will show me His dream for me.

  49. Nishi October 11, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    “I’m ready to dream again.”

  50. Nina October 11, 2012 at 4:43 am #

    I’M READY TO DREAM AGAIN!

  51. Crystal October 11, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    I’m ready to dream again! I was married for 20 years to an unstable, emotionally abusive man, and the last year was hell. He ended our marriage when he committed suicide this past summer. I felt so broken while I was with him, but i feel so optimistic now about my future! God has assured me, “The best is yet to come!”

  52. Pavla October 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    I am ready to dream again.

  53. Dee October 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    “I’m ready to dream again.”

  54. Jenny October 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    I am ready to dream again!

  55. Kim October 12, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    I’m ready to dream again.

    Today I got news that an application to something I was hoping and praying I’d be accepted to was rejected. It was a kick in the gut, but oh how timely and encouraging was your message today. It dovetails with the word the Lord gave me in Mark 5 this morning: “Do not be afraid, ONLY BELIEVE!” I will continue to believe on the one whom God has sent. He has a purpose and plan for my life and I just need to follow with expectation and awe! Blessings to you, Sharon!

  56. Karen October 12, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    I AM READY TO DREAM AGAIN!

  57. Faith October 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    “I am ready to dream again”

    ‘Father, I do believe that with You all things are possible and that with You all things will be…pls help me dream again. My heart is open to you desiring to know your dreams for my life in Jesus Name’.

    Thanks Sharon for such timely message, you have ministered to me in a great way. You are forever blessed.

  58. Liesl October 14, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    I’m ready to dream again

  59. Leisa October 15, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    I am ready to dream again!

  60. Ellen C. October 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    i am ready to live and to dream again.

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