The Risk of Dreaming


If dreams were sold on Amazon, they’d be shipped along with a Risk of Failure Waiver. It’s a package deal.

When we pour ourselves out for a vision, we run the risk of Failure. Not simply failed attempts, those are an inevitable part of dreaming big. Passion and belief in the vision give us the grit to get back up and try again after many failed attempts.

The real risk is ultimate Failure; disillusionment, realizing the vision was a mirage. That what you dreamed and poured yourself into is not going to be a reality.

Leaping into something you believe in with all of yourself means the crash landing of failure will hurt every part of you, threaten to wreck you.  You’re left feeling foolish for wasting your time, your passion, your self.

There’s this “What now?” moment when nothing looks the same as before. When the dreams you’ve invested in no longer exist and the landscape of your heart is foreign terrain. What now?

There’s a truth about God that makes all the difference in that moment.  It’s a truth that can silence the cynicism that threatens to take over. It brings a light of hope when pain darkens our vision. What is this truth?

The truth is, nothing is wasted in God’s economy. Nothing. Even in failure or change of direction. All that perseverance, faithfulness, hard work, love, sacrifice. In the face of crushed dreams and rejection. All the times you got it right. And every time you got it wrong. Not one moment is wasted.

It’s a little like Karate Kid.  Wax on. Wax off.

You may think you were learning how to polish a car, but God has been strategic. If you never touch a car again, still none of that effort was wasted.

You may have thought you were training to be a lawyer. Then a year into practicing law your life takes a major turn and suddenly you’re an entrepreneur, or serving in full time ministry. In God’s book, nothing about that is wasted. The studying, the financial discipline to get through school, the job search. Nothing was in vain.  

Wax on. Wax off.  

God has plans for putting all of it to use. It may just look different than you ever imagined. It may have been more about your heart than the skills you were building.

God is truly good and truly loving. He’s able to create the most magnificent things even out of those of us who have been crushed to dust. He’s dreaming for us! He’s inviting us to embrace the risk of broken dreams and walk with Him on this adventure of life. Because, even if we’re hurt again, broken dreams are not the final destination when we’ve surrendered our hearts to God.

So, what now?

Now we cling to this truth that nothing is wasted. We encourage our hearts with stories in the Bible where God proves Himself in this over, and over again. Look at David: tending sheep as a boy, in music ministry in the king’s service, defeating Goliath, living in caves while being hunted, reigning as king!  Nothing wasted.

We allow ourselves to grieve the dreams that were lost, but we don’t stay there because we have a hope that moves us forward. When our hearts refuse to dream again, we trust and rest in God’s goodness. He tells us in the Bible that He draws near to the broken hearted. As we find our joy in Him, He will fill our hearts with new dreams. 

We speak truth to a cynical heart, we trust that God is working for our good, and we ask Him to ignite a new dream in our hearts. And we trust that one day we will look back and see that nothing was wasted.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; and rescues those whose spirits are crushed. ~Psalm 34:18

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. ~Psalm 37:4

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. ~Romans 8:28

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2 thoughts on “The Risk of Dreaming

  1. God has ways of resurrecting dead things…even dreams. Most often, in my life, it’s my perspective that has gotten “off”, out of “alignment” with God’s vision. Take time for yourself. Attend a Kairos event if possible…time set aside with God changes everything.

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    • Thanks for reading and taking the time to respond! Yes, I’ve most definitely seen him bring dead things back to life. I’ve heard a lot about Kairos events. I need to look into that more. Spending time with God is the one place that has no risk at all! That’s my favorite place to be 🙂

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