When It Feels Like You're Living In The Land of Dreams Unseen: A Devotional
Today's devotional was written with love by the beautiful Whitney Webster.
Have you ever been on a plane next to an inconsolable child? When they're in this scary, shaky place and their ears hurt and they don't know how much longer it's gonna last, so they scream their lil faces off?
I have... pretty recently actually. I watched the mama as she rocked her babe, doing her very best to comfort her, whispering to her and kissing her cheeks. I felt so sorry for the little one, because I know sometimes I feel just like that: so afraid, so in pain, so unsure of when (or if) my plane will land.
I sat next to her in my own crisis, my own moment of crying to Jesus and wondering when He would steady me... wondering when my shaky, hurt-inducing plane would find the sureness and stillness of the land. Wondering when I would finally see the end of this season, when my current problems would turn into stories of grace abounding and new problems, preferably better problems, would start to take their place. I wanted my problems to turn from "yeah, we broke up last week" or "yeah, my dad still has Parkinson's disease" to good problems. Ya know? A stupid beautiful turnaround that would hopefully hold less heartache and a much healthier father... but that's not what Jesus sees fit for me right now. So, I kick and scream and cry to Him, wishing that the things that hurt and shook me would just stop.
Sometimes it's easy to feel like I'm living in a land of dreams unseen and prayers unanswered. I sincerely want someone to do life with... to follow Jesus and maybe even become a missionary with. I want a healthy dad... and I want him to walk me down the aisle if I ever do find the man that will hold my hand through life. I want my dad to hold my future babies. I want him to see who I become, not this in-between Whitney that feels like she's accomplished next to nothing. And this causes me to see Jesus as a Father who withholds from me, Who knows what I desire and has the power to make it happen, but instead causes me to continue living in this land of dreams unanswered.
"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless."
No good thing. He withholds no good thing. Do you know what this means? It means that the God of all goodness, the God of all beauty, the God of all creation, has His best in mind for me (and you!!!)... which means that I need to redefine where I find goodness.
Friends, what if goodness isn't always found in newer, shinier problems, or happier, easier seasons? What if some of the best things are found in the comfort we receive only after our fragile hearts are broken, or in the intimacy we experience when we're lonely? What if the goodness Jesus promised to never withhold is found in Himself alone? In the kissing of our tear-streaked cheeks, in Him carrying our heavy burdens, in the comfort of being rocked and held by the One that loves us deeper, wider, longer, and higher than anything or anyone else ever could? And what if we missed the sweetness of that simply because we longed for ease and comfort instead?
It says in Romans that while we were enemies, Christ died for us. He did that to unite us to Himself, to be able to invite us into His presence, to experience relationship with Him. So think about this... if God gave us His most precious treasure, his Son, while we were His enemies, why do we think He's withholding lesser things from His children, clothed in His very righteousness? Surely the Lord is good to His beloved babies!!!
Don't misread this... I don't mean that we'll never live in the land of heartbreak or unanswered prayers. This simply means that Jesus Himself, goodness incarnate, will be carrying us through it. It's our job to trust Him like a little one, to run to His big dad-arms and believe with our whole heart that He's got joy in abundance for us as we walk on the road of obedience.
Friends, whatever land you find yourself in, Jesus is in it with you. He's there to comfort you, celebrate with you, cheer you on, and bring you closer and closer to His face and His heart... and He's lavishing you with goodness every single step of the way. Let's take His hand and start looking in all the right places.
All my love,
“Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.” Psalm 85:11-12
“Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.” Psalm 73:1
“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.” Psalm 71:20-21
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4
“'Because he loves me,' says the Lord, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.'” Psalm 91:14-15
Listen to "Do it Again" by Elevation Worship
What are your most precious dreams? Tell them to the Lord!!! Let Him know the desires of your heart!
Have you surrendered your dreams to the Lord or can you see ways that your hand is clenched around them? Reflect on how you can continually keep opening your hands to receive the goodness He has for you.
Where have you seen the Lord's goodness lately? Where has He written His love over your life? Did He provide a friend to love on you or speak through His Word? Reflect on God's goodness in the life you live right now and thank Him for all the ways He loves you.
Jesus, You are such a good Father, such a kind Provider, such a faithful Love. Lord, it can be so easy to see the struggles of life and miss Your hand in it. Show us where to find goodness in the lives we live, lead us into intimacy with You and teach us to prize You as our ultimate Satisfaction. Draw us closer and closer to You heart. We love You endlessly. Amen.
WRITTEN WITH LOVE BY WHITNEY WEBSTER //
Whitney is a singer, songwriter, and blogger living in Nashville, Tennessee. She's a coffee shop enthusiast, a lover of all things cozy, and late to probably everything. Her favorite activities include smiling, running, talking to strangers, and eating alfredo. Check her out on Instagram, and read her beautiful blog!