Sunday, May 18, 2014

Are you a "broken-winged bird?"

They lie beneath the rubble of ashes, tracked sand, and soiled shoes.  They float like clouds, moved by the winds of our creativity.  They are both marvelous and frightening.  Hot or cold.  Each has a center, a core that was birthed in our hearts, and that center can gush like a rambling river.

Dreams are a rambling river.

In their river, we sometimes swim, sometimes wade, sometimes barely survive.  We can sink in their waters and struggle to find our way to the surface.  Frightened, we sometimes think we'll never even dip our toes in their waters again.

But, we do.

Dreams can be lost, found; rich, poor; worthy, proud; soft, loud; believable, achievable; minuscule, ridiculed; empty, full, unattainable, selfish, or painful.  Yes, they can hurt us and cripple us, leaving us, according to Langston Hughes, like a "broken-winged bird."

 Dreams are personal.  They are intimate.  They are owned.

When Jesus walks with us in their waters, our own dreams are swallowed by an ocean of divine Love. His sacred being brings the cleansing, healing flow of God's agape presence.  Grace and mercy then overwhelm our dreams and soak them in hope and faith.

Or, the presence of Jesus carries them away like the sands of the sea, as He prepares a new space in our souls, a place for old dreams renewed, or a smooth, empty place for new dreams.

Whether dreams are aged or newborn, they beckon choice, the choice of offering up or clinging to. Offering  up our dreams is a sweet sacrifice of giving to Jesus for His molding.  Clinging to them with our flesh fixes our heart on something(s), which is never God's choice for us.  Choosing to cling sends us to a cycle of struggling against the Holy Spirit.  It feeds self and is an endless war leading to weariness of our total being.

Yes.  Even God-given dreams can become idols we worship rather than God-pleasing paths of service.

Clinging makes us weary, and we wonder at our weariness as we face the same struggles again and again.  Will we continue to strive and tire, or will we finally give in and rest?

I have noticed when I give in to my body's cry for rest and accept Father God's limitations, I eventually rise up in physical and spiritual renewal.  When I give in to the Father's heart, my soul rests.  Romans chapter 12:1 and 2 tells of that rest.  God's word brings us to light, and that light pierces us through and transforms us. 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

To offer our dreams to the Father is a holy sacrifice that pleases him, and pleasing God gives us peace.  At peace with our Father God and our dreams, we become new creations.

We are found.  We are home.  We are full.  We overflow.

With such peace and transformation, we are never the same.  As we walk in the Father's light and let him control our lives and dreams, we are changed from the inside out.  God chisels away at us til we one day see our reflection in the mirror, and realize that it resembles the Master of our destinies.

We have dreams because we are new.  And we follow our dreams with a heart of worship so that in our newness, we find wholeness.  We are healthy.  We are not a heavy log floating aimlessly in roaring waters.  We swim with smooth strokes. We are not a poor, broken-winged bird. We can fly.  We glide through the air with peace-filled souls.

Our flight takes us to our Father's loving arms.

Our hearts cry to be like Jesus rather than to have _______________ or be_________________.

Are you a broken-winged bird?  If so, you have hope.  You can be healed and fly again.  And, your nest will be a quiet place of rest in the presence of the living God.

Thus, I offer you a challenge.  Thank the Father for your dreams, then lay them on his altar of sacrifice.  Let them stay.  Do not disturb them from their place.

Find rest in your decision to let them remain and stand fast.  Believe your Father will give you his best.  He will breathe life into the dreams he gives you.  And, those dreams cannot be washed away, nor can they fall to the ground.