When they heard this, all the people—even the tax collectors—agreed that God’s way was right, for they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts in religious law rejected God’s plan for them, for they had refused John’s baptism.
In my morning devotion, I read about owning the gifts God gives us. I’ve learned to own my faith, but it seems that my conviction stopped there for a while. In the last year, I’ve learned to own my ministry, and have seen vast growth come from that. I have confidence that God wants to use me to pastor middle schoolers, and because of my faith and His goodness, He’s blessed me with beautiful relationships and has blessed our ministry with over a dozen salvations this semester.
Yesterday, I highlighted Psalm 22:11-18 in my Bible. This passage connects later in the Bible to Jesus, as He prepares for His death. He echoes Psalm 22:1 on the cross, and many theologians believe that this chapter prophesies His crucifixion. My heart was numb, broken, and weary yesterday, and these verses made me feel understood. How could I feel so low when I just attended a conference on Joy? Because I had stopped believing with my heart that God had more for me. I know He has a plan, and that everything is for a season, but I struggle to truly believe that He’s made me for anything more than the everyday mundanity of life.
We’re not all made to be famous pop stars or business moguls, but God is calling us to greatness. I want to reach more people outside of my circle with God’s Truth. I want to write a book that heals hearts the way some of my favorites have healed mine. I want to be a great mother and love my future children well. I want to care for orphans and widows in a tangible way. But for some reason, I’ve started believing that I don’t have a right to dream.
God put Luke 7:29-30 in front of me as I was preparing this post. John the Baptist’s disciples knew God could use ordinary people for great things, yet the Pharisees rejected this offer of greatness because they were strivers. They wanted to earn greatness and DIY their story. They rejected God’s plan for them because they refused to believe that an ordinary man was capable of the extraordinary.
Earlier in this chapter, Jesus and his disciples passed a funeral procession on his way into Nain. A young man had died, and his mother was mourning him deeply. She was a widow, and this was her only son. When Jesus saw her, “his heart overflowed with compassion. ‘Don’t cry!’ he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. ‘Young man,’ he said, ‘I tell you, get up.’ Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.” (Luke 7:12-15)
This woman’s dream had died that day. She had likely been hoping for a daughter-in-law and grandchildren to fill her empty home, for her son to bring life and a legacy to her broken family. Jesus saw her in her suffering, and He didn’t just restore her son that day. He restored her hope. Maybe you connect with this woman, and you’ve recently watched your dream die in some way. Maybe a medical diagnosis has crushed any hope of a full house and a growing family. Maybe your dream hasn’t died, but it seems completely out of reach. As 21st century women, who have every available opportunity, how much more hope should we have to see our dreams come to pass? God has advanced medical technology and connected adoption agencies to orphans across the world. God has opened doors of equality and shattered glass ceilings. Why wouldn’t He bless us with our heart’s deepest desire?
You can write a bestselling book. You can have a marriage that lasts. You can turn your side hustle into your household’s #1 source of income. You can be a mother. You can lead thousands of people to Jesus. You can do anything, if you let God breathe life into it. He is a good Father, and He wants to see us chase our dreams. Let Him guide you, follow His will, and He’ll spread your wings so you can fly.