When Our Dreams Collapse Overnight

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.”

That’s how the song goes. If you believe the PR, Christmas is about making dreams come true.

We all have dreams– not only for our holidays, but for our lives.

Joseph had dreams. 

He’d reached adulthood, learned a trade, was betrothed to a young woman named Mary who was a devoted and godly girl.

I’ll bet he had dreams of a simple life – steady work in Nazareth, building a home, raising sons and daughters to love the Lord.

Joseph’s solid character is evidenced by the fact that when his dreams began to unravel – his betrothed is found to be with child and Joseph, more than anyone, knows this child is not his own – he doesn’t seek to “expose Mary to public disgrace but has in mind to divorce her quietly.”

This is a good man. This is a man of integrity.

This is also a man who watches his life’s dream slip from his grasp in a moment.

But God also had a dream for Joseph’s life.

Just as He has dreams for all of us. We’re His idea. It shouldn’t be a surprise that He has dreams for our lives. 

While Joseph sleeps, an angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream and assures him that Mary’s child is of the Holy Spirit. She’s carrying the long-awaited Messiah of his people. The angel tells Joseph that he has a part in this plan that will change the world.

So, Joseph does what the angel commands and takes Mary home to be his wife even though things aren’t playing out in accordance with his original dreams.

No man dreams of taking a wife home and “having no union with her” until she gives birth to someone else’s child.

No man dreams of hearing whispers about his wife in the tavern or having the locals hide their glances when he passes. No man dreams of starting a new life under a cloud of public suspicion and derision.

No man dreams of traveling with his pregnant wife to a distant city under government edict and having little money and no place for her to rest. No man dreams of making a bed of hay among the livestock when it comes his wife’s time to deliver his first child.

No man dreams of this but this was God’s dream for Joseph.

Of course, no man would never have dreamed that a star would appear in the heavens to herald the birth of his firstborn son nor that a choir of angels would make the birth announcement to shepherds who would seek him out and offer their worship to the little one swaddled and cradled in his young wife’s arms.

Nor could he have dreamed of the danger the little one was in or the adventure on which they would embark to protect him, this baby whom the God of the Heavens entrusted into Joseph’s earthly care.

This was a dream he could not have dreamed but in surrendering to God’s plan for his life, Joseph lived a better dream. 

This is true for us all.

If we surrender to Him our dreams for ourselves, we awaken to His dreams for us and live out the story He wrote for our lives which is one single thread woven into a greater story – one that will be told into eternity.

I Corinthians 1:9 says this: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” 

Joseph loved God and found a life he could never have dreamed for himself.

Do you have dreams? Have you seen dreams crushed and lost? Are you willing to surrender your dreams to live the dream God has for you?

Maybe this year, instead of dreaming of a white Christmas, you can dream His dream for your life. 

Have you seen your dreams crushed? Surrender it to God and find His better dream for you, fellow adventurer.

One day, we’ll all gather with Joseph and swap stories of amazing dreams come true.

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    The Conversation

  1. Trusting that God’s dream is better than our dream….sounds easier than it actually is, but boy is it worth it 🙂 Thank you, Lori! Another one I can’t wait to share! God bless! Sharon ><>

  2. The BearPair says:

    Lori, just wanted to share the Louisa May Alcott’s “A Christmas Dream and How it Came True.” Delightfu story from one of the masters… tho’t you’d enjoy :o)

  3. Anonymous says:

    I just read a book that says many Christians have Joseph Syndrome, where they think that after they suffer and give us there dreams, God will eventually elevate them to live His big dreams for them. One major point of the book is that our dreams may never come (including those we imagine to be God’s dream/s for us–that Joseph syndrome is a myth.) And the bottomline, is the author is telling us simply to be willing to serve without a dream and be satisfied in God. Yet another take on the “dream theme.”

    • I’m not sure that Joseph ever felt “elevated.” and really, the dream God called him to live was one of service that served others more than it served Joseph. Sometimes, when we are obedient to God, He places dreams in our hearts that come to fruition and are exciting but others of us are called to lives of suffering without a clear fulfillment of our dreams. In the end, our lives shouldn’t be about chasing dreams but about pursuing God. Plus, I think that book was talking about the other Joseph, from Genesis. Joseph, of Joseph and Mary, didn’t get a big, glorious life. He simply served God and humanity by being Jesus’ father. Thank you for coming by.