Cover to Cover-Week 5: Are You A Dreamer?

cover-to-cover.jpg 

This week’s readings:  Genesis 40-50; selections from I Chronicles and Exodus 1-6

Are you a dreamer?

I would not consider myself to be a dreamer.  As a child, I don’t remember dreaming about becoming a bride or thinking about my wedding gown…of course, I played with dolls and pretended to be a mommy.  But I don’t really remember dreaming that often.  Even as an adult, I tend towards being more hopeful than actually dreaming.  I love to hear others speak about their dreams and sometimes just marvel at their details and faith.

One dream that I did have was to become a writer.  It was a dream that I held quietly within…no one but God and I knew for quite a long time.  Writing had been a thread that had tied my life together for always yet I didn’t recognize it until I was an adult.  How many annual reviews as a physical therapist did I receive where the constant emphasis was on the strength of my writing…could have been/should have been a red flag…but I would not admit it for many more years.

Once I did finally spit the words out to a few people close to me…the responses were polite and a sweet “Duh!”…and I was encouraged to pursue the dream…believe the dream…reach for the dream…

That dream remained dormant for quite awhile…one would think that by finally mustering the courage…the dream would be swiftly assembled and brought to completion…but it didn’t work that way…life crowds in…vision can be clouded…perhaps God says wait…not yet but soon…during this time, I remember a conversation with a person close to me and I began to talk about my writing attempts…and I am confident that this person meant no ill will to me or my dream said…”oh, the dream…(sigh) it makes me sad…at that moment, I felt like my dream had been crumpled up into a ball and tossed in the direction of the nearest trash receptacle.

This week’s readings spoke to me about our dreams…those that we have…those that are given to us…the reactions of others to our dreams and the care that needs to be taken in continuing to believe in those precious dreams…sometimes when those dreams seem to be against all odds…and lastly, how our Big God can have dreams for us that are beyond our wildest imaginations…all this is wrapped up in the life of Joseph.

Last week, we read that Joseph had two dreams when he was 17 years old.  In his youthful exuberance, he shouted it from the rooftops to his brothers and father.

Be careful who you choose to share your dreams with…Joseph’s brothers were already predisposed to lack affection for Joseph as he was favored by their father and we also learn that Joseph had given their father a bad report about them.  They already hated him and when he told them that he would reign over them one day, this declaration did not sit well with any of the brothers.  In fact, they hated him all the more.  Although Jacob loved Joseph dearly, he could not believe what Joseph was saying and rebuked him however, he did keep the matter in mind.

Dreams can be fragile and can be easily dashed by the disapproval, laughter and unbelief of others.  In the infancy of dreams, it may be best to spend time alone seeking the Lord’s heart about the dream.

Joseph’s brothers try to kill the dream by selling Joseph into slavery but it was God’s dream as well.  He was with Joseph and prospered everything he put his hand.  He was placed in Potiphar’s house…falsely accused…taken to jail…but even in prison, Joseph continued to find favor with others because God was with him.

A cup-bearer and baker also were accused but not falsely.  They each had dreams while in prison that they did not understand.  Joseph not only had dreams of his own but God gave him the gift of interpreting dreams.  Joseph interprets both dreams…one with a favorable outcome, to which Joseph asked to be remembered when the dream was fulfilled.  The other dream had an unwanted outcome.  Both dreams were interpreted correctly yet Joseph remained in prison…forgotten it seemed.

But wait…we are not finished with dreams…Pharaoh also had dreams which had no interpretation.  Alas now the cup-bearer remembers Joseph…he is sent for and states that he cannot interpret but God can.  When Joseph finishes explaining the dreams and the strategies needed to avoid certain death for all, Pharaoh agrees and is actually led to say,

“Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”
Genesis 41: 38

and
“Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.  You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders.  Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Genesis 41: 39,40

Pharaoh’s words to Joseph must have been overwhelming and so much larger than what he had envisioned the dream he had delivered years ago to his family…and yet the dream was only partially complete.  Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife of a prominent Egyptian official.  Upon the birth of his sons he said this:

For Manasseh: “It is because God has made me forget all my troubles and all my father’s house-
                          hold” 
Genesis 41: 51

For Ephraim:  “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”  
                        
Genesis 41: 52

Joseph was 30 years old when he entered his new role of service for the Pharaoh.  Thirteen years had passed since the birth of his dream…a time mixed with much sorrow, pain, suffering and injustice.   My Bible study notes say that Joseph went from shepherd to slave to convict to ruler.

As the famine stretched farther and farther, Joseph’s family of origin begins to feel the effect and must travel to Egypt in search of food and they come face to face with Joseph.  I find it so interesting that the brothers do not recognize Joseph but he immediately recognizes them.  I am sure Joseph looked different in his Egyptian attire and surely they never believed they would ever see him again.  Perhaps they never had really seen him…even when he lived among them. 

When sharing dreams with others…pick people that know you and really see you…pick those with discernment and always ones that are willing to take your dreams to the Father for the safest keeping.

Genesis 42: 8,9 says:

“Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.  Then he remembered his dreams about them…”

At 17, Joseph had a dream…soon after his brothers sold him into slavery…he excelled and then was imprisoned…he excelled again and at age 30 became second in command over Egypt…there had been 7 years of plenty and only 2 of the 7 years of famine when Joseph sees his brothers’ faces for the first time in 22 years (if my math is accurate)…it is only then that he remembers his dream…a dream that had been buried for years and tossed into a cistern…time had mellowed Joseph and he does not mention this dream…but he remembers it.

This is what Joseph has to say about the dream once he revealed his identity to his brothers:

“Come close to me…I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!  And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”
Genesis 45: 5,7

Joseph comforts his brothers:

“Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Genesis 50: 19-20

Joseph had a dream…a God-given dream…a dream that took many twists and turns and at times was forgotten…abandoned…but God never forgot and He was with Joseph every step on the way to fulfillment…a dream that grew exponentially from the one that Joseph believed in his teens.

Are you a dreamer?  If so, what is your dream?  Have you grown weary of waiting?  Does the reality of your life today weigh heavier than your dreams?  Do you feel you don’t qualify to dream?  Have others scoffed at your dreams?  Did you have a dream but you have forgotten it?  Do you think that dreams are for only the young at heart?  Do you think it is too late to dream?

Maybe it is time to go before the Lord and spend some time together lingering over your dreams…His dreams for you.

Wherever you find yourself today…start dreaming and keep on dreaming…ask God if your dream is too small…He may say it is time to expand your vision…I know that I am going to stop hoping and do a bit more dreaming…putting my faith in a God who is able.  Dust off those dreams that you have discarded and go before the Lord and get His heart, mind and eyesight.  Remember He is always with you even when you find yourself veering off course and in a foreign land…who knows…it could be all apart of His wondrous plans and purposes towards you.

Oh, and one last thing…for all you dreamers and wannabe dreamers:

“Now to Him Who, by consequence of the action of His power, that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purposes and do super-abundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or DREAMS]–To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it)”

Ephesians 3: 20, 21 (Amplified) 

That’s plenty for this week…I didn’t forget about Moses…we will chat about him next week…won’t you join me…and as always, you can join us here.

P.S.  February’s reading schedule is listed in The Library!

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12 thoughts on “Cover to Cover-Week 5: Are You A Dreamer?

  1. Thanks Helen,
    I hope you read the version that posted correctly…had a lot of problems with formatting this time around…ugh…such a time waster…but thanks for the encouragement…felt like maybe I wasn’t supposed to post and should just stay silent.

    Bless you,

    Helen

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  2. Well said Helen dear and very thought provoking. God’s dreams for us are often much different than we expect, but always, ALWAYS good. I think the key to finding God’s dreams for us is searching out the treasures of His Word. Keep on searching my friend, you are digging up treasure indeed. Thanks for sharing those treasures with us!

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  3. Helen, I love your insight on dreams and discernment on being careful who we share our dreams with, and ultimately enacting what God’s dream is for us. I hadn’t thought about how I haven’t had a dream in years. Not the sleeping kind, the vision type. When we were young, my family would sit for hours and talk about the house we’d have one day in the country. We’d arrange the furniture in our rooms and talk about having a horse. We lived in the city, and it sounded so fun. We’d go for long drives and dream about how the future would look (as a family) and it was sweet. It wasn’t long after that when my dad passed away and I don’t remember dreaming anymore. Funny thing is, we have just built a farm on that very property that my daddy dreamed of all those years ago. No horses yet, but that was 30 years ago and God is so sweet to remind me through this endearing post you’ve shared today. Thank you. I think I need to go spend a little time with God on this. Blessings, annie

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  4. Beautifully written Helen! In my school memory book my kept for me every teacher commented “she such a dreamer”. They meant that both negatively (lose focus easily) and positively, but never shared why they said that and now I wonder…hmmm.

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  5. Thank you for sharing these insights. I’m a dreamer. I forget and need to remember that all the circumstances in between the dream and until…are orchestrated by God to prepare me for when…the dream happens. I focused on this part of the scripture too. The Lord showed me that I need to get over me and know that He has the bigger picture.

    Blessings in Christ–

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  6. Helen,I just posted this comment on my blog to you but had to come bring it here, too, cause I want to make sure you get this with much affection. You are a beautiful writer! Just beautiful and your words tonight touch deep places in my soul for my dreams are part of my story. I have one dream “Brother’s Footsteps” that has haunted me my whole life until one day a few years ago when what I dreamed in that dream actually came true and my beautiful God showed up riding valiantly to rescue me from that darkness. His Love cast out fear.

    I loved what you said about be careful who to share your dreams with—I have wanted to with anyone who would stop long enough to listen…not any more…while I respect my story, it also doesn’t define who I am…

    One thing about your writing is that your provoke such thought from within. Thank you so much for contributing immensely not information but an invitation to transformation.

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  7. I just had to come back and read this post again, I so loved it! Especially, I have been thinking about who you share your dreams with. It’s a very very good post, Helen. Thank you!

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  8. bolovesjoe says:

    So good! We did a series at our church last year on the life of Joseph and it was the first time that I’ve really searched beneath the words and history to study all of it. I love how Genesis speeds through so many years and generations in the first 30 chapters and then puts the brakes on and takes such a slow drive through the life of Joseph so we can really see the colors and details. Beautiful. Thanks for adding your insight to help us weave it into real life.

    Also, you inspired me to move to WordPress so I think you should contact them about commission or a finders’ fee or at least a free coffee or something!

    Bo

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  9. Helen,
    What a great post! Your thoughts on dreams was amazing. Just today I received an email from a friend of mine who has been away from God for 3 years. He wrote to tell me of the dreams he keeps having. He said the further away he gets from God the worse the dreams are and I thought of him as I was reading your thoughts.
    Also, I loved what you said about talking to God about our dreams and asking Him if they are too small!! Nearly shouted on that one. LOVED the verse you shared. Glory to God He has more for us than we can even think about!!! Our eyes have not seen, ears heard, or mind conceived of the great things God has prepared for those who love him but that He reveals that to us by his Spirit! 1 Cor 2:9-10!!
    Thank you for everything you shared!!

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  10. Ladies…you all touch me greatly this week…as I said in my first comment…I had such a time posting this week and typed it twice and almost gave up…you are very affirming to the night of not much sleep.

    Don’t you just love Joseph!!!

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  11. caffeevino says:

    Awesome to hear your road to writing. I am traveling down the same one. My dad has always thought that I would end up writing (my mom encourages that I be a Landscape Architect). A few of my Landscape Arch. profs have told me I should have suck with English haha. While writing my blogs from Italy a few friends told me I should edit and publish them.

    I have written two manuscripts, thought horribly cheesy, I guess they are a start. I also have about four stories started on my computer that I slowly add to when I have the time.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. It’s encouraging to me to know that other people have similar experiences!

    Peace and Blessings!

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