I Had a Dream (the tragedy of losing what you once hoped for)
“Then David said in his heart, ‘Now I shall perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me that than I should escape to the land of the Philistines.’” 1 Samuel 27:1
Hardly anyone has never had a dream. A hope for something better, something that would take their life up, up and away. In third grade it was my very sincere prayer that God would let me fly like Superman. Okay, that’s more of a childhood fantasy, and I’m really talking about something more serious, though it may have begun in your childhood.
It did for David. The adolescent shepherd got wind of his future as king, and that wind was Spirit, not whimsy.
Somewhere along the way to the top, though, an anti-hero named Saul decided to cancel David’s dream. His plan was utterly futile, but he sold it well, and David signed the papers. Samuel penned a chapter detailing what could have been the death of all David hoped for. It was a dark 12 verses, but it really wasn’t even Saul who made it so. No, this pivotal moment was brought to you by David himself, who “said in his heart” that he could see no way his dream would come true.
Dreams are like that. The serious ones. The ones God gives. They are tenuous, not certain, and illusory, not concrete. That’s what makes them dreams.
Martin Luther King, Jr, even years after his death, continues to increasingly inspire the world with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which arguably propelled the civil rights movement in his day. Martin got it. He knew something about dreams. He knew you can never let go of your dream, no matter who tries to take it from you. And, you must never talk yourself out of it. David almost did.
Scripture says that “faith is the substance of things hoped…the evidence of things not seen.” Dreams get substantiated and evidence themselves in our lives when we hold onto what God has promised. That’s what faith is. It is believing God that what He said was true, and disbelieving every other voice, even one’s own, that speaks to the contrary. For Fantine, they were tigers who “come at night, with their voices soft as thunder, as they tear your hope apart, and they turn your dream to shame.”
Yesterday I had a dream. But, today I dream again, and tomorrow my dream will come true. Because God said so. And I’m not going to listen to the tigers.