Summary: there comes a place called the graveyard of the dream which has a deadly toll on far too many
You have developed your dream, made it through the comfort zone, pushed the border bullies out of your way but wait, the land on the other side doesn’t quite look like much of a promise. Bruce Wilkinson, in his book The DreamGiver refers to this next stage of the dream as the wasteland—the graveyard of dreams.
A God sized dream does not come easy but the wasteland rising unexpectedly for dreamer, it comes at a time when you really want to see the dream fulfilled but now there is this lull when advancement is not taking place where you, the dreamer sense this might be a dead end, perhaps you are being punished for not staying back, perhaps you have gone the wrong direction, followed the wrong dream and now you stand in the stark landscape of the wasteland.
Listen, you are not alone, people who have pursued the dream of God and found success and fulfillment have made the same journey into this land of wilderness, this land which looks disappointing, this land of seemingly waste.
In Genesis 6:9 we read: This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.
Imagine the years of labor, the neighbors, the criticism, the wasteland Noah walked through the accomplish the dream God spoke to him. How many people would have quit along the way. “I am not going to saw one more board, I am not going to attach one more thing. I am not going to load one more animal, I am going to quit before someone has me committed.”
William Carey the great missionary to India said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” That pushed his dream to reach India for Christ and in the wasteland of the dream, when he buried his wife, when he buried all his children in the soil of India, he never lost sight of the dream, he never packed it in and said I am going back because Carey knew what God had spoken to him.
We come to the wasteland with our presuppositions and presumptions of what we think we should expect, then we find it not as we thought. I am sure when Joshua and Caleb brought back a report of the promised land they thought everyone would rise up and say in the name of the Lord we will have victory. We know that didn’t happen because the people were looking at the danger and not the dream. They had other expectations of what should be over the next rise, and it should not have been giants they thought in their minds.
When the wasteland comes, and it will come to everyone who is serious about pursuing their dream, discouragement will also be knocking on the door trying to rob you of the courage and confidence which has brought you this far and doubts will rise up, uncertainty certainly brings doubts to our mind. “Am I doing the right thing?” “Wasn’t I better off before I got to this stage of life.”
It is in the wasteland one really begins to discover, is this what I was created for? And for some, they, like those in the wilderness journey with Moses, give up all hope and they die with an unfulfilled dream, with only the shell of a promise.
Tonight I want to help you make it through the wasteland. It will take a whole new view of this stage in your life. The wasteland does not exist to send you packing back to where you came, it exists to get you ready, to prepare you for what lies ahead. Remember, if you do not fulfill your God given dream, it goes unfulfilled. God gives a unique dream to every one of us, a dream that is not a second hand dream given to us because someone else failed to walk in the way they were designed, but a dream God designed for us.
Dreams take preparation. It is like school…from kindergarten through college, the preparation of the human experience is in motion. The things learned help to navigate through life and for the life choices we make.