ODJ: dreams deferred

July 5, 2015 

READ: Proverbs 13:12-19 

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life (v.12).

Larry Carter was stunned at how much a child’s ability to dream had changed in just a few decades. When he was a boy, his school baseball coach asked him and his teammates if they had the dream of becoming a professional baseball player. Nearly every boy raised his hand. His coach said if they hoped to fulfil that dream, they would have to work hard now. The team was so inspired that they practised and played hard and went undefeated for the next few seasons.

Fast forward 25 years: Larry asked the boys on the school team he was coaching the same question he had once been asked. To his surprise, not one of the children raised their hands. What had come into their lives to steal their dreams? he wondered.

Solomon, one of the writers of Proverbs, contrasted the wellbeing of a person whose dreams were fulfilled with that of a person whose dreams had been postponed or even stolen (Proverbs 13:12). He noted that when time comes and goes and a person’s longings remain unfulfilled, it “makes the heart sick”. It fills the whole of the person (mind, emotions and will) with disappointment and emotional confusion. An anaemic will makes people want to give up on their dreams. On the other hand, when anyone’s dreams become reality, they gain the energy associated with eating from the tree of life. God energises their will and they are able to forge ahead. A fulfilled dream is sweet to the soul (v.19).

Sometimes our dreams are postponed and stolen by people, circumstances or by unwise and sinful choices. At times God will say “no” to our dreams so that He can point us in a better direction. Today, let’s bring our dreams to Him and submit to His wise and perfect plans!

—Marvin Williams

365-day-plan: Luke 7:1-17

Read 1 Samuel 1:26-28 and observe how Hannah responded to a dream fulfilled. 
What deferred hopes and dreams are making your heart sick these days? What dream has been fulfilled and is a source of life and inspiration for you?