Broken Dreams

In the very chapter God gives him dreams, he’s sold into slavery. Joseph, the perhaps obnoxious 17 year old favorite son, has two dreams where he is represented in authority and his brothers are bowing to his authority.He makes the mistake of sharing the dreams with his brothers, and finds himself in the bottom of a pit. Things go from bad to worse when he is sold into slavery and brought to Egypt. So here, in reality, the exact opposite is happening to Joseph than what he had dreamed; rather than being elevated in standing, he is reduced to slavery. Don’t you wonder what he was thinking?

Have you ever had a God-given dream shattered by unexpected reality? It’s very painful and no one looks and says, “wow, I’m so sorry you are walking around with a broken dream.” It’s a unique kind of suffering that I think you have to experience in order to really understand. Maybe you hoped you’d be married by now. Maybe you’ve wanted babies, but haven’t been able to conceive thus far. Maybe you hoped for certain ministry opportunities that seem to have passed you by. Maybe the dreams you had on behalf of another have been shattered. You may have a wayward child, spouse, friend. Broken dreams can leave us in a dark pit, much like we find our young Joseph.

When I read about poor Joseph, I don’t typically grieve for him. You know why? I know the end of the story. I know that God, in His wisdom that is just so far above our wisdom, moved Joseph to Egypt, will place him in various key circumstances that will eventually lead to the preservation of the tribes of Israel, which is crucial because eventually, the Messiah will come from the line of Judah. I know that his dreams will become reality in chapters 42-45.

You may still be at the part in your story where you are sitting in the bottom of a pit wondering what on earth just happened to you. But Joseph’s story is for all of those walking around with a painful, broken dream. Joseph’s story reminds us that God not only knows the ending, He has written all of the twists and turns in between. His ways are not our ways. But think about it, would we want Joseph to dream one day, lead a normal life, then at some point – predictably, find his brothers bowing to him? How would that showcase the sovereign wisdom of God? How would it highlight His faithfulness, His ability to sustain? How would that have led to the heart wrenching truth being deeply engraved on Joseph’s heart when he says, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life…so it was not you who sent me here, but God…As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”

Isn’t that stunning?! It’s so beautiful. In those words a light beams into your pit of broken dreams. Your story isn’t over. Your God is the same God as Joseph’s, and one day you will see it was God who sent you to the land of broken dreams, for your good, for others’ good, and for His glory. And one day you will  even be grateful He did!

6 thoughts on “Broken Dreams

  1. Good post Laurie. I wonder if God will ever bring me out of the pit. I need to have more faith and maybe stop trying to claw my way out and let God do it for me!!!

  2. Excelleny Laurie!! Such insight and such truth. The story of Joseph is such an encouragement for all who find themselves in a pit of broken dreams. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of God’s faithfulness no matter what the circumstance may be.

  3. I definitely know the pit of broken dreams. But, I also know the gift of dreams come true that I never had enough sense to imagine for myself. That said, I find myself often running to II Cor. 4:17, 18…” For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

    Some dreams won’t come true until the other side of this life, and then anything we could have dreamed for ourselves here on earth will pale in comparison to what He’s stored up for us. Can’t wait!

  4. Laurie, I am so thankful my mother in law sent me your blog info. This was such an encouraging post about that story, it held so much truch about God’s sovereignty. Thank you! I sent it to some of my friends too bc I think it will really encourage them:)

  5. An excellent and insightful article, Laurie! Well-written, and more important, touching on the source of the resentment and bitterness that too many followers of Jesus allow themselves to fall into. When we refuse to trust in what we don’t see, and rather focus on the seemingly injustice in which we find ourselves, we lose the joy of seeing God supernaturally work all things out. “For we walk by faith not by sight.” I’m currently taking a small group through the book “Calvary Road.” I may use this with them. Thanks!

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