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The Sacrifice of Broken Dreams - She Seeks - Week of January 16

  • 2017 Jan 16


{the sacrifice of broken dreams}

confessions of a girl at the alter

I grew up near a duck pond.

On Saturday afternoons my dad and I would scour the grass for any un-hatched (and unattended) eggs and collect them. We had a custom built incubator at home, and in my eight-year-old mind I saw visions of ducklings dancing around my bedroom as fluffy new pets.

Every time we came across eggs, my dream was reborn in my heart. I would carefully handle the eggs, gently place them in a shoebox and squeal with excitement the entire way home. As soon as my dad placed them in the incubator I would perch myself in a chair nearby as I stared at the eggs willing them to hatch right before my eyes.

The problem was, none of my eggs ever hatched. We even took a few eggs (and our incubator) to some sort of scientific duck hatching specialist to see what the problem was. He assessed that the eggs we came across could have been unfertilized or underdeveloped.

All I understood was that I wasn't getting pet ducklings. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. Visiting the duck pond was never much fun after that.

For years I forgot all about my childhood visits to the duck pond, and my accompanying dream of owning ducks. But recently, as I was venting some frustrations in my journal I wrote these words without thinking:

Sometimes I feel like I'm staring at God like He's an egg in an incubator and I'm waiting for Him to hatch.

I was speaking in the context of an unrealized dream. For years I'd been waiting on God to do something specific and He wasn't moving. My unmet desires were weighing on me like a cloak of defeat.

Were my dreams unfertilized or underdeveloped? Had God chosen not to sign off on them because He had other plans for me instead? If I was seeking God, why was my heart still so set on something He obviously wasn't allowing to happen in my life?

The real question I was asking in the secret places of my heart was, Is something wrong with me? I found myself wondering what I was supposed to do with the dreams that may never come to be.

Oddly, I found comfort in Genesis 22 and the telling of Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac on Mount Moriah. Out of obedience to God, Abraham was willing to surrender every dream he had for Isaac. Since lineage was what once made a man's life count, he was willing to watch his legacy literally go up in smoke.

Of course, we know the end of the story. Just as Abraham's knife is raised over Isaac, an angel appears and provides a ram to offer up instead. The ultimate sacrifice was never asked -- instead, God provided another way.

But the part of the story that struck me was this: Abraham didn't know the sacrifice wouldn't be required. As he bound Isaac to the alter and raised his knife, he likely experienced every gut wrenching emotion that comes with fully letting go. He may have even cried or wailed. Yet he obeyed, anyway. He trusted that God would do what was best.

That's the attitude I need to imitate. Surrender, letting go, sacrifice -- whatever you want to call it -- is what God requires of me.

Like Abraham, I have to bind my unrealized dreams to the alter and release myself from their power before I ever know if God will actually breathe life into them.

What does that look like in real life? Maybe it's being a genuinely happy bridesmaid when you would much rather be the bride. Perhaps it's embracing the job you have and working hard at it even though it's not the career you went to college for.

Your sacrifices will look different than mine. But the God we serve is always the same.

Psalm 51:17 tells us, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

Bring your broken heart to God. Place it on the alter. Let Him heal you and set you free.

He might not do what you want. But He will do what's best.

Trust Him with your unfulfilled dreams today.

© 2011 by Shannon Primicerio. All rights reserved.

For more devtionals like this one, check out Proverbs 31 Ministries


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