About 10 years ago, an emotional and grateful Dabo Swinney gave his first press conference after becoming Clemson Tigers’ head football coach. “I want to tell everyone to dream big and believe, because dreams come true,” Swinney said. “Today I am very humbled that one of my dreams has come true.”
By Boyd Bailey, NCF
Growing up in adversity, Swinney learned that hard work, motivated by character, resulted in good outcomes. Because of this, many say, he has been able to build the best culture in college football for influencing and equipping young men for lifetime achievement. “Coach Swinney serves our hearts, not our talents,” Wide Receiver Hunter Renfrow said of him. “He’s the best coach in college football.”
That’s powerful! Big dreams, plus hard work and a time-tested character can result in big wins!
But what happens when big dreams go unfulfilled for a long time? That was the problem for the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk. He pleaded with God to act against unrighteousness. God promised he would, but not in Habakkuk’s time, and not in the way Habakkuk expected.
And the Lord said to me, “Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others. But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”
– Habakkuk 2:2-3, (The Living Bible)
Representing an oppressed people, the prophet Habakkuk looked to the Lord for his vision of what was to come. Would they be set free from abomination and injustice? Yes, but when? What was God’s vision for his people?
Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass.
Habakkuk did his part to stand and watch for the Lord’s defense of his people. In solitude, in stillness, high above on the ramparts, he prayed and looked to the Lord for a divine vision of what was to come. In silence, he stopped acting and waited. All his “doing” stopped, devoured by divine expectation. All his ‘being’ was ready, waiting to receive God’s vision.
The Lord instructed him to write down words delivered by the Spirit to his captivated conscience, as his soul soaked it up. Clear and concise. Commit. Linger … wait on God’s timing.
Commit your activities to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
– Proverbs 16:3
What big dream is in your heart for 2019? The dream of having children? The dream of a family full of people who love each other, who enjoy each other’s company so much they can’t wait to be together? The dream of a work culture where everyone works hard for a compelling purpose? A job you can’t wait to get to each day? The dream of being surrounded by people who serve one another above themselves? The dream of a life not so full of drama and pain, but one of stability and healing? A life of purpose? Relationships, not perfect, but growing and fulfilling? A community of friends with common goals who really know each other, but still cherish and love one another?
Dream big dreams, trust God for their reality.
Spend time with the Lord as you wait for him to do his work in and through you. Allow your ‘doing’ to be devoured by God’s love, so your ‘being’ can be fully loved by him. Out of your place of peace and contentment, he can take you to the places you need to go. Confusion may seem to dominate your situation, but you can trust Jesus to have the last word, and to use bad to accomplish good for his purposes.
Write down what the Spirit is saying to your soul. Yes, documenting is risky, because you may fail. But better to fail by faith than not to do anything out of fear. The just live by faith. Dream big dreams with your big God and watch him do big things. Slowly, steady, surely, watch for his work! It will not be late, not even by a single day.
Enjoy the time with him while you wait. Experience the wait as worship, finding joy in watching for what he will do.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
– Psalm 37:4
2019 is just getting started. What big dream do you need to keeping dreaming? Or, what big dream has God given you that you need to humbly and generously share with others? No dream is too big or too small from him. He loves you and wants you to bring it all to him.
Heavenly Father, by faith I trust you to align my desires with your desires and for you to give me the desires of my heart for your glory in Jesus name I pray, amen.