Scribbled-On Dreams
Marybeth Whalen

"Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you have planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." Psalm 40:5 (NIV)

Recently I learned that a book that I had given up on was miraculously going to be published after all. I was amazed at God's power and His timing. I was ecstatic that He opened doors that I thought were shut forever. As I dug out the original notebook I had once designated to hold the papers and notes I would need for this project, I was shocked to find that almost every page in that notebook was scribbled on by my youngest child. Her artwork made every page unusable! I chuckled to myself as I closed the notebook and went in search of another one to use instead.

Later I reflected on my decision to hand over that notebook to my child. What had made me do that? I knew that it was because the project was, in my estimation, worthless, forgotten. The notebook represented something that would never be. It epitomized the death of a dream. Why not let my daughter fill in the pages with her toddler scribbles? I must have reasoned that nothing else would ever fill those pages!

And yet we serve a God who can blow new life into a dead dream. I had forgotten all about the book I once yearned to write. I had moved on in search of a new dream. But God had not forgotten. His plan was different—and longer—than mine. His vision was further reaching. His outcome never consisted of me writing my dream off as worthless and unachievable. Instead He wanted me to trust in Him even when the situation looked hopeless.

Do you have a dream that looks dead from where you are standing? Have you thrown in the towel, chalked your efforts up to experience and moved on? Just don't move so far that God can't bring you back to the dream when He is ready. Don't fill in the pages of your notebook with hopeless scribbles and not give Him room to fill the pages with His Word, words of life and hope and vision. Yes, surrender your dreams—holding onto them lightly and always keeping His plans as your purpose, ready to lay down anything He asks because no dream is more important than Him. But also remember that God loves to bring about the unexpected, throwing us little surprise parties that bring joy to His Father's heart.

My notebook now serves as a reminder—in childlike script—of God's ability to overcome the impossible and open doors that were once slammed shut. I wouldn't trade those scribbled-on pages for anything! Now I look forward to filling the pages of a new notebook with all new dreams. Dreams that were handed back to me when I least expected it.

Dear Lord, please help me to trust You when things don't work out and I have to surrender my dreams. Help me to rest in the fact that You see things from a much bigger vantage point than I ever could. Help me to know that You always have my best interests in mind, even when You close doors I wanted open. And help me Lord to be ever mindful of Your power that is always at work—even when I can't see it. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
For the Write Reason General Editor Marybeth Whalen

Learning to Live Financially Free: Hard Earned Wisdom for Saving Your Money and Your Marriage by Marybeth and Curt Whalen

Marybeth’s blog

Application Steps:
Do you have a dream you believe is dead? Spend some time writing about that dream in your journal today. Describe it in detail, and then ask God for His purposes to be revealed and His plans to be accomplished. Then spend time praising Him in advance for what He will do with your dreams.

Why do you think dreams are important to us? Do you allow yourself to dream? Have you allowed broken dreams to stop you from dreaming altogether?

Power Verses:
Psalm 75:1, "We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds." (NIV)

Psalm 136:6, "Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever." (NIV)

Psalm 105:4, "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." (NIV)

© 2009 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for today's devotional. For years I desired to be a stay-at-home mom, but after awhile believed that it was unattainable, something for only other people. Then a year ago things changed dramatically for me, I walked a very dark path and have come into a beautiful place of being home with my children and loving every moment of it!! God took that dark path and blew new life into a dream I thought was dead. He fulfilled that dream in away I least expected it. Thank you Lord!! You are amazing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the devotion. Amazing how God works. I have been feeling discouraged about my current job. My dream job seems unattainble. I needed the enocuragement! Thank you for reminding me that God opens closed doors. Today I pray "Lord align my will with your will and plans"

Blogger Sonja said...

Thank you for devotion. What an awesome God we serve. I am made aware of all my dreams that seem shattered and know that God can also open doors that seem shut. For He knows the plans He has for us. Plans to prosper us and give us hope and a future - Jeremiah 29v11

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really appreciated this morning's devotion, as i try to trust in the Lord more and more, through all trials and disappointments. the one thing i wanted to mention is that despite your "scribbles" the Lord still opened the door in His perfect timing. Our "scribbles" will not hinder the Lord from doing His will. Thank you Lord for that--that your power is greater than ours!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Marybeth. This is so timely for me in my life right now. To me, my own dreams pale in comparison to the perfect plan God has in store for my life. Even when I want my dreams to come to fruition right now, I know that only God can bring them to pass in His timing- after all, He is the one who has planted these dreams inside of me. I just recently heard a message about "counting your stars." When God told Abram that his descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sands on the seashore...God told Abram to count the stars in the sky. Isn't that remarkable? He has SO much in store for us than we could EVER even think or imagine! And you know the most amazing part is that Abraham never got to see God's promised fulfilled- because it's STILL being fulfilled today! So the dreams and visions we have for our lives may be that God has given us the dream to birth it and then carry it on to the generations to follow. This is the hardest part for me, because I desire to see my dreams fulfilled in my life time. BUT I trust the Lord and know that He holds my world in His hands.....blessings!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am dealing with a wayward young adult child who is making decisions directly contrary to the way she was taught in my home. She was a glowing Christian as a child and teenager but now her choices are breaking my heart. I needed to be reminded that God can change all that and he gives hope to the hopeless.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful devotion! My husband and I separated in 2007 and I thought that this fairy-tale love we once had was gone forever. I grieved for it for a long time and thought there was nothing I could do. Then this past summer, a year and a half after we separated, I decided to stop by his house to say hello before he deployed. We spent hours talking and then he called me the next day and asked me to dinner. Over dinner we both broke down in tears, sharing our grief at being apart for so long and our mutual hope at restoring our relationship. We are now reunited and doing better than ever. Once again, though, I am waiting for God to reopen a door that has been closed to us for a long time. We've never been able to carry a pregnancy to term, and now and again I worry that it will never happen for us. But I'm learning to trust that God has plans for us, whether it's through natural conception or through adoption. It's easy to forget that God is in control and has a timeline totally different from ours. He knows the desires of our hearts, though, and brings all good things to us in His time.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for the devotion today. I gave my life to Lord when I was 21 years old. I am now 29. I came in a single mom with one child. I met my husband in church and were married. A year after our marriage he decided he didn't want to serve the Lord any longer. That was over 3 years ago. I have such a desire to do more for God. I feel the fire in my heart that he has called us to so much more. When I look at what is right in front of me I think it impossible. It encourages me to read your devotion. It confirms God's word to me " to not be afraid to dream " and know that ultimately he is in control. And I just have to remember his promises upon our marriage. And remember that he is God and not man that he shall lie or regret his promises and his calling and he will work everything out for the good. I just have to continue to stay faithful. Thanks again!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is ironic it seems that lately
everywhere I turn there is an obstacle in my way,but regardless I press on the Lord to continue to fill my heart with hope and dreams
realizing that these times I am
currently facing he is right there
with me. Everyday has been a new challenge,but I know with Gods love
nothing is to great. This too shall

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just happened to surf through ur web-site today and it was quiet encouraging for me to read how God is really helping repair all the broken hearts and I too was going through similar situations in my life yet Jesus is the Captain of my ship sailing through high storms. Ireally want to praise him for he is revealing so much of his love for me and my family. Thanks for the web site which is so supportive in moments of despair.God Bless u.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your devotion this morning, i really needed to hear this. i know God is real and he works in mysterious ways and through your devotion i once have hope for my dream. I just need to trust God on his timing.Thank you Jesus you are amazing.............

Post a Comment


Site Search
Recent Devotions
Articles About...
Grab our button!