What Joseph's Dream Reminds Me About My Own Dreams
One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. “Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.
INSPIRATION & PURPOSE
"Joseph's Dream" is the second piece in my 15-piece Joseph series. The Scripture is what inspired the look of this design, but its meaning to me is much deeper. When I look at it, I'm reminded of Joseph's experience which taught me three main things about dreams.
DREAMS CAUSE FRICTION
Joseph’s dream caused major friction within his family—especially with his brothers. Joseph was already being pampered by his father Jacob, but now he was boasting about how everyone in the family would be bowing down to him. This friction lead to his brothers selling him into slavery and causing their father to enter a season of grief and depression. When I received my dream for Hope Delivered, it caused a lot of friction within me. I was in a place of comfort, but God was calling me to something more challenging down a more strenuous path. Some of the things causing friction within me were doubts, fears and insecurities. There were constant questions running through my mind like, “Is this really worth it?” and “Will this even work?” Something that helped me push through the internal friction was the belief and healthy fear of not pleasing God. I didn’t want to get to Heaven one day and be shown all the things I missed out on because I was too scared to be obedient. I call this "diagnosis" FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. FOMO motivates me to fulfill the things God asks me to do so that I can bring glory to God and not miss out on anything.
DREAMS ARE HARD
If dreams were easy, they wouldn't be called dreams—they'd be "normal" or "daily grind" or something average. I’ve discovered that if I do things on my own power in the way I think they should be done, the dreams never reach their full potential. Or worse yet, my dreams fail because I don’t have the strength, endurance, smarts, abilities, drive or any other necessity you can think of to make them a reality. I have learned over time that God sometimes has me do things the hard way so that I will understand that it succeeded because of God's power and ability and not because of my own.
I love this quote from Max Lucado’s book on Joseph called You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times,
“But God will use your mess for good. We see a perfect mess; God sees a perfect chance to train, test, and teach the future prime minister. We see a prison; God sees a kiln. We see famine; God sees the relocation of his chosen lineage. We call it Egypt; God calls it protective custody, where the sons of Jacob can escape barbaric Canaan and multiply abundantly in peace. We see Satan’s tricks and ploys. God sees Satan tripped and foiled.”
God used the hard times to forge me into a better person by reshaping my character, shifting my perspective, revealing my identity and rebuilding my confidence. God created me anew by destroying my old self. The process is continual; it may be painful and hard, but in the end it will not only make me better, but also will bring glory to God.
DREAMS TAKE TIME
I truly believe that God deeply loves me and that he is cheering for me to succeed in the dream that he has given me. Romans 8:38-39 (NLT) reiterates this statement for me,
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
To fulfill the entire dream of Hope Delivered that I received from God, it will take several years and if I’m lucky, my entire life. This excites me because I will have years of working alongside God to achieve a goal of creating art to celebrate hope and to raise awareness about Christian Persecution. I have faith that what I’m doing and what I’m striving for will bring honor and glory to God because God honors big dreams.