Scripture Reading: Genesis 36:1-37:36 / Matthew 13:18-35 / Psalm 10:12-18
Are you a dreamer? That can be answered in several ways depending upon the context. When it comes to dreams as having a series of thoughts, images or emotions while we sleep, I am not a big “dreamer” and rarely remember the dreams I do have. Dreams can also be a visionary picture of our imagination. Dreams of that nature are often detached from reality.
All dreams are not to be dismissed or minimized because God does use dreams to give us direction, encouragement and purpose. Like Martin Luther King Jr., our dreams can give our lives meaning and establish worthy goals. Dreams are not necessarily easy to pursue because life counters with difficulties, struggles, challenges and disappointments.
Humanity can spend their entire energy searching for the “end of the rainbow” only to be sadly disappointed. We can quickly become entrapped in the quicksand of negativity, sadness and doubt that completely kill our dreams. Every young child has great hopes and aspirations. They want to be a fireman not a bank robber, a doctor not a murderer, a mommy not an abuser. Their goals are pure, lofty and innocent. They believe in their dreams until someone tells them they “can’t” reach their dreams or someone sows seeds of doubt and discouragement.
Joseph experienced the highs and lows of his dream. Sometimes it looked like a dream, other times it looked like a nightmare. All of us have experienced dreams that have turned into nightmares. For Joseph he lived with the dream of being loved and the nightmare of being hated. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons…When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” (Genesis 37:3,4)
This favored son quickly became even more hated by his brothers when he shared a dream where their sheaves of grain bowed down and worshiped his exalted sheaf. Joseph needed some sensitivity training and wisdom yet he had a pure heart and pure motives. His brother’s jealousy and rage intensified after Joseph shared a second dream where the sun, moon and 11 stars bowed down to him. Jacob, his father even rebuked him for his audacious thinking.
Joseph’s dream finally became a full-blown nightmare when his brothers desired to kill him but instead, sold him into slavery. They fabricated a story about Joseph’s death to their father and Jacob lost all joy and hope in life. Jacob pledged to mourn all the way to the grave and Joseph was sold to Potiphar in Egypt. Joseph didn’t think his dream life would turn into an out of control nightmare. Our lives can follow similar paths when dream filled relationships, finances and health turn into terrible nightmares. One thing is for certain, God does not change in the midst of dreams or nightmares…He knows how to resurrect lives and dreams.