Shattered Dreams. Easter Hope.

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Have you ever dared to dream only to have your dreams shattered?  People let you down.  Life’s circumstances overwhelmed you.  You felt like a failure.

Now you find yourself afraid to dream.  You may think if you allow yourself to dream again you will only be disappointed and discouraged once more.  You take the safe road by keeping your expectations low.  That way you won’t feel the pain and despair ever again.

I wrote about the importance of being a dream maker not a dream breaker in my last post.  You can read that here.  However, if you have a history of big disappointments in your life you may feel cynical regarding your dreams ever coming true.  Dream making might apply to other people, but not to you.  

God understands.

Have you ever considered how the disciples felt after Jesus’ arrest?  They had a dream.  They were followers of Jesus.  They were with him when the crowds waved palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:13)

What an exciting event!  What joy, hope, and anticipation must have filled their hearts.

Yet, less than a week later, they were witnesses as Jesus hung on a cross.  Beaten.  Bleeding.  Dying.

Do you think their hopes and dreams died with Him that day?  Talk about shattered dreams!  What were they to do with their lives now?  Where were they to go?  They’d given up everything to follow Jesus.

They were fearful.  Hopeless.  Confused.  Lost.

Sound familiar?  Ever felt those same feelings when life took an unexpected turn?

God was not taken by surprise.  Jesus’ death was part of His plan.  The disciples weren’t aware of God’s plan for them, and through them all of mankind, so in that moment they were full of despair.

But God wasn’t finished.  He had an answer to their fear, hopelessness, and depression.

The Resurrection!

Imagine how the disciples felt when they learned that Jesus was alive again?   Each of the Gospels records a different perspective of that morning when the body of Jesus was no longer in the tomb.  However, there is a common thread of the natural progression of human emotions as faith was once again restored in the hearts of the disciples and those surrounding them.  Fear.  Uncertainty.  Hope.  Utter joy.

My favorite reaction was recorded in Matthew 28:8, “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.”

Being with Jesus, after the resurrection, restored the disciple’s dreams, joy, and faith.  Even the doubtful Thomas no longer doubted.

I have experienced shattered dreams.  I have also experienced the fear yet joy, when new dreams have been birthed in me and I have watched them come to fruition.

Because Jesus lives I can face my past.  Because Jesus lives I can face my present.  Because Jesus lives I can face my future.

My prayer for you this blessed Easter season is that God, our Gracious Father, would fill your heart with His presence, His peace, and His hope.  That you would begin to trust God with your dreams, and that those dreams, birthed in your heart by the Holy Spirit (important caveat since not ALL dreams are God inspired), would take seed, sprout, and ultimately bloom into something beautiful.  You can start over.  Don’t be afraid to dream!

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