Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: Our Dreams and God's Plans for our life story

The Unexpected Journey: Dreaming with God
A devotional by Tessa Huckstep

“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” –Luke 2:12 (KJV)

I am a dreamer and I have a habit of dreaming big dreams.

Like most Christians, I want to do big things for Christ. I want to start a movement, impact generations, and make a difference in the world. We tend to think about long term goals and plans, especially at the beginning of a new year. God wants us to dream big dreams, but often the journey to accomplishing these dreams is not what we expect.

Throughout this Christmas season, I have considered how unexpected the birth of Jesus Christ was to the people living in that time period. The Son of God (Jesus Christ) was sent to this Earth to save the souls of humankind. God could have sent Jesus as a mighty warrior or as a victorious king, but He chose to have His Son be born of virgin (Mary) who was engaged to marry a poor carpenter. After Mary gave birth, she placed Jesus in a manger and wrapped him in swaddling clothes. This may not sound like the beginning of a big dream, but it is the beginning of the biggest and most wonderful dream of all. This was how God planned to save all humans and give us eternal life. Read John 3:16 for details. 

God has the most beautiful ways of surprising us. Sometimes, He gives us gifts that we believe are burdens or are insignificant. Then, one day, we understand why God put that trial or heartache into our lives and we simply cannot praise Him enough for it. Jesus is the greatest gift we have ever been given. Yet, He had to be wrapped in swaddling clothes. With God, things are sometimes not as they seem. The way that Jesus entered this world was unexpected, but far more beautiful than any story about a mighty king or warrior.

I also like to consider the first thirty years of His life. Jesus was a carpenter. He probably took exceptionally good care of His mother, and He probably lived a life that is similar to our own. He most likely had a schedule to follow, responsibilities to keep, and countless tasks to do. But I think He spent this time with His Father, prayed often, and simply loved the people around Him.

Perhaps our biggest problem is that we are each looking for external signs of change. We all want to see the visible miracles and physical healings. But what about the miracles that take place within your heart? These are the most beautiful miracles of all. Jesus healed many blind, sick, and dying people, but the greatest miracles He performed were the ones where He saved a soul in His Kingdom.

As you look back and reflect on this year, you may feel a little disappointed that you are not as far along as you thought you would be. Maybe you cannot even see where the road of life is taking you. Maybe you are struggling with your progress in your personal relationship with our Savior. Just remember that God’s big dreams do not usually follow the carefully planned schedule that we created.

Dream big, but do not become discouraged when things look different than you expected. Keep your eyes on the Savior and you will never be disappointed. God will fulfill His plans. Our life on Earth is the journey, but our destination is always Heaven and spending eternity with Jesus Christ. He is the one constant and the one absolute that we have in this life on Earth. Lean into God and trust Him with your whole heart.

Let’s Pray:
Dear Lord, thank You for the unexpected blessings You have given us this year. Please help us to remember that You are the Author of our real life stories and You have a perfect dream for us. Grant us the courage to look beyond our current circumstances and always look to You. Allow us to find peace in our journey as You write our story. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.

Song of Reflection:
“Heaven on Earth” by Darlene Zschech. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Tessa Huckstep grew up in rural Illinois to Christian parents and has known Jesus personally since the age of five. 

She is currently attending community college and majoring in elementary education. In the future, she plans to teach in the public school, hoping to bring the love of God with her.

God’s dream of Tessa becoming a writer was revealed to her at the age of sixteen and she hasn’t been able to stop since. Though she has not yet been published, Tessa enjoys writing historical romance novels and speculative fiction.

Tessa believes God loves stories, and through her writing, she wants to reveal the happily ever after God dreams of for each of his daughters—one where Jesus is the knight in shining armor.

Tessa loves all things Georgian/Regency, needlework, and dainty teacups of every size. When she isn’t writing or studying for exams, Tessa can be found in the kitchen with more flour in her hair and on the floor than in the mixing bowl, though the mess is always half the fun!

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