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COLUMN: Big dreams for a big God

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By Jon Rohr

Last night I woke up laughing from a dream.  What I remember most vividly is an out of place baby elephant sitting in a watering trough spraying water all over my poor wife. Thinking about it even now I can’t help but chuckle, but I don’t know if I could explain it fully.  You’d have to know about the little white bull and the muddy cowboy for it to make sense!
Dreams are like that sometimes, they make an impression on us, but we can’t really explain them to anyone else.  Whether a dream makes you laugh or cry, they are hard to explain.  I think most of the dreams we experience at night are just random thoughts, but some are more than that.
The Bible tells us, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17 NIV)  I am one of those who think the last days may be upon us, and I think this passage is for our times.
God wants to reach out to us, to all people everywhere.  God is reaching out through young people and old, so that we may know him and follow him.  One thing God is doing is giving people big dreams.  Not particularly the dreams that come in the night, but dreams that shape the way we look at the world.
Some of those dreams should make us cry, because they show us a world in desperate need of God’s grace.  They show us a world of cruelty and violence, a world where lust takes the place of real love and where selfishness rules rather than kindness.  But some of those dreams give us hope because they show the transforming power of God.  They show us hope for troubled inner cities, hope for starving children, and hope for a lost and dying world.
Some dreams are just baby elephants and watering troughs, funny perhaps, but not life changing.  Real dreams, dreams that come from the heart of God change our lives.  They give us eyes to see the needs around us, both far and near.  Real dreams give us direction and courage to face up to the challenge to change our world for good and for God.
What dream is God challenging you with?  What needs do you see that God wants you to meet?  Do you believe that our Lord is able to help you meet that challenge? Face that need? Is your God big enough to help you make those dreams become reality?