Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - March 7, 2007

This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

“But your assistant, Joshua, son of Nun, will enter it.  Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it.”  Deuteronomy 1:38


Knowing when to keep pursuing a dream and when to accept an alteration to your dream is not always an easy task. Jack Canfield tells about a young high school student whose father was a horse trainer.  Because the family had to follow the horseracing season, the young boy was required to change schools throughout the year.  During his senior year, he was asked to write a paper about what his dreams for the future were.  The paper described his dream of owning a 200-acre horse ranch with stables, tracks and a 4,000-square-foot home.  He even drew a diagram of the property and the design of his house.  Two days after he had turned in his paper, it was returned to him with an “F” on the front and a note to see the teacher.  After class, the teacher explained to the boy that his dream was “unrealistic.”  The teacher said that if the boy rewrote the paper with a much more realistic dream, he would reconsider the grade.  The boy went home and asked his father what to do.  “It’s your decision,” said the father. The boy kept the paper for a week and then returned it to his teacher after class.  “Here,” the boy said, “you can keep the ‘F’ and I’ll keep my dream.”[1] If you are like me, you want to stand up and cheer for this young man who would not be deterred from his dream.

But, at other times, accepting changes to a dream and moving on is appropriate. Moses had a dream.  God was the One who gave it to him.  He was to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land.  Over forty years after receiving the dream, he stood at the end of the journey.  The time was near to go into the land.  However, along the way, Moses had sinned against God and the consequence was severe.  God would allow him to see the land but he would not enter into it.  God made it clear that Moses’ assistant, Joshua, would be the one to lead the people and inherit the land. How easy it would have been for Moses to grumble, complain and plead with God to change His mind.  But what we find instead is that Moses accepts the consequences of his actions and partners with God in preparing Joshua for the task he was about to undertake.

What can we take away from combining these two, seemingly opposite illustrations? Pursue your dreams even when others would have you give up.  But, always be responsive to God’s call on your life. At times, along the journey, He has other plans for us, and our own dreams may be fulfilled in His way, not ours. At these moments, His desires outweigh our own, and obedience to Him and partnership with Him are the best choices we can make.

[1] Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Andrews McMeel Pub, April 2000.  

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1. What dream or dreams has God placed in your heart?  How are you pursuing them?

2. How have other people stood in the way of fulfilling your dream(s)? How have you responded?


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Romans 12:8

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