Health and Healing. Day ten...
We may have the right dream, but the wrong way of getting there.
That's what usually happens when we work our own plan. While we may have the right destination, working our own plan will get us into a position we were never designed to be in.
A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)
Where do we come up with the direction we have chosen for our lives?
We dream. At some point in our childhood we dream about what we want to do with our future. And I believe those dreams born out of childhood innocence are from God. But whether or not those dreams determine the direction we take depends on how we handle the circumstances that come against us.
It doesn't take much resistance to mess up a dream. An unwanted pregnancy, an illness, a crime, a trauma, an addiction, a fit of rebellion—any number of things can send people off in a different direction from their dreams. And into a life of suffering.
One of the questions I ask those in my classes (of mostly homeless men and women) is: “What has God wired you to do?” It's surprisingly difficult to get answers because a lot of detours have been taken between their present‐day realities and their childhood dreams.
We make ourselves sick—literally sick—when we are not doing what God has wired us to do.
Even if we are really good at doing what God has not called us to do, we will still suffer. Any time we try to direct our own steps, we are just setting ourselves up for trouble. (We covered some of the effects of stress last week.)
Please note: If you feel like you are a slave to your lifestyle, there's a good chance that you may have taken a wrong direction. Please revisit your childhood dreams. It's never too late to make a course correction.
Joseph had the right dream, but because he didn't bother to let God direct his steps Joseph created a lot of suffering for himself.
When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father's flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father's wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. (Genesis 37:2b NLT)
Joseph appears to have been a little short on tact, so he was already on the bad side of his brothers. But Joseph really infuriated them when he shared a couple of dreams he had.
One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. “Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!” (Genesis 37:5‐9 NLT)
The first dream Joseph only shared with his brothers, but the second dream he shared with his father Jacob as well.
This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?” But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant. (Genesis 37:10‐11 NLT)
Joseph certainly didn't know what the dreams meant either. As we learn later on, God would save His people from destruction through Joseph. The dreams Joseph held in his heart were about saving an entire race of people. But Joseph, as a seventeen-year-old boy, thought the dreams were all about him.
Instead of wondering what the dreams meant and asking God for some explanation, Joseph interpreted the dreams according to what he knew at the time. Joseph didn't bother to ask God to direct his steps. He just took off on his own. And he suffered a great deal because of it.
We were not designed to direct our own steps. Even if we have the right destination in mind, we lack knowledge of the terrain. God knows what's around every corner. We don't.
To be healed and live in health we must leave the step‐by‐step direction up to God. I know this sounds like some religious cliché, but stay with me and you will see just how applicable this principle is in your everyday life.
Have a good day,