Why Don't My Friends Support My Dreams? (Y1.T1.D40)
In the summer of 1999, I was a thirty-six-year-old single mother. Weekdays were spent in a small cubicle typing out COBOL code for American Express. I loved my work—not just because it provided for my children but because it fit my analytical mind.
While at work on a Tuesday morning, I felt God say to me, “I’m sending you to do mission work in Africa next summer.”
My fingers paused over the keys. Tears rolled down my cheek. A dream I’d thought I’d lost was being restored. I was ten years old the first time someone told me I’d make a great missionary. Even though I wasn’t Catholic, I wanted to work with Mother Theresa.
If you’ve kept up with my earlier blog posts, you’ll know my testimony didn’t go in that direction. I honestly believed I—like Moses and a generation of Israelites—had lost access to the promised land because of my own rebellion.
Yet here was God resurrecting my missionary dreams. As I prepared, I excitedly told my friends. People I thought would celebrate with me.
Some of the people closest to me offered lukewarm responses. Others actually tried to discourage me. I was so confused. Why would the people I love so much not want this for me? Did this mean they weren’t really the friends I thought they were?
No, of course not.
When Jesus taught, “Don’t let the right hand know what the left hand is doing” (Matthew 6:3), this wasn’t about being private as much as being humble. God decides who gets to partner with us on the various adventures he assigns.
When it came to my first mission trip, God selected people who weren’t even close to me as support. He knew who he had in mind to help. My job was to allow him to choose.
My friends who didn’t get it weren’t supposed to. This wasn't a reason to throw away the relationship. They had other roles in my life at the time. That’s how friendship works.
When it comes to dreams, we need to ask God to reveal the people we should partner with. We might even make some new friends. But we shouldn’t feel upset at any existing friends who don’t understand. Ultimately, God knows what he’s doing.
He Wants to Fulfill Your Dreams
39 No man having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’” (Luke 5:39)
1 “Cry aloud! Don’t spare!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Declare to my people their disobedience,
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me daily,
and delight to know my ways.
As a nation that did righteousness,
and didn’t forsake the ordinance of their God,
they ask of me righteous judgments.
They delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you don’t see?
Why have we afflicted our soul, and you don’t notice?’
“Behold, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
and oppress all your laborers.
4 Behold, you fast for strife and contention,
and to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You don’t fast today so as to make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the fast that I have chosen?
A day for a man to humble his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under himself?
Will you call this a fast,
and an acceptable day to Yahweh?
6 “Isn’t this the fast that I have chosen:
to release the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and that you break every yoke?
7 Isn’t it to distribute your bread to the hungry,
and that you bring the poor who are cast out to your house?
When you see the naked,
that you cover him;
and that you not hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then your light will break out as the morning,
and your healing will appear quickly;
then your righteousness shall go before you,
and Yahweh’s glory will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and Yahweh will answer.
You will cry for help, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you take away from among you the yoke,
and speaking wickedly;
10 and if you pour out your soul to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted soul,
then your light will rise in darkness,
and your obscurity will be as the noonday;
11 and Yahweh will guide you continually,
satisfy your soul in dry places,
and make your bones strong.
You will be like a watered garden,
and like a spring of water
whose waters don’t fail.
12 Those who will be of you will build the old waste places.
You will raise up the foundations of many generations.
You will be called Repairer of the Breach,
Restorer of Paths with Dwellings.
13 “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day;
and call the Sabbath a delight,
and the holy of Yahweh honorable;
and honor it,
not doing your own ways,
nor finding your own pleasure,
nor speaking your own words,
14 then you will delight yourself in Yahweh,
and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth,
and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father;”
for Yahweh’s mouth has spoken it. (Isaiah 58:1–14)
1 “Be careful that you don’t do your charitable giving before men, to be seen by them, or else you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do merciful deeds, don’t sound a trumpet before yourself, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may get glory from men. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you do merciful deeds, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand does, 4 so that your merciful deeds may be in secret, then your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:1–4)
38 “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)
16 “Moreover when you fast, don’t be like the hypocrites, with sad faces. For they disfigure their faces that they may be seen by men to be fasting. Most certainly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you are not seen by men to be fasting, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:16–18)
Thank You for my friends. Help me understand how each person in my life plays a role in the peace-filled hope and future that You have for me (Jeremiah 29:11). You taught me that a friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17), so show me how to be that friend. And when those I love don't understand what I'm called to do, teach me how to write kindness and truth on the tablet of my heart and trust You (Proverbs 3:3–6).
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