Links Daily Devotional

Facing the Reality of Unrealized Dreams

In you, LORD my God, I put my trust. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Psalm 25:1,5, NIV)

I could not have been happier for Sergio Garcia on Sunday at the Masters when he was celebrating his long-awaited and pursued dream of winning a major championship. It had taken 73 attempts since the can’t-miss Spanish prodigy emerged on the scene as a 19-year-old at the 1999 PGA Championship where he captured the golf world’s attention by nearly taking down Tiger Woods. The golf media predicted a long-term rivalry between two great young players. Instead, Sergio’s career was marked with disappointments year after year as he fell short of his lofty expectations; he seemed to carry a chip on his shoulder that his dreams were never going to be realized.

David’s life and rule as king would not go as expected. His story is marred by great disappointments.Only in the last couple years has the golf world seen a Sergio Garcia who appeared to be at peace with his reality. He had finally accepted his fate and come to terms with the blessings and life he had. Well-documented and analyzed in recent days, this discovered peace was a catalyst for an incredible outcome for him at this year’s Masters tournament.

It reminded me of the story of King David found in 2 Samuel. David emerged on the scene as a teenager with his bravery and skill, willing to fight and take down the mighty Philistine giant, Goliath. Eventually David would be anointed as the next king of Israel and his promise was great. However, David’s life and rule as king would not go as expected. His story is marred by great disappointments, struggle, betrayal, the consequences of bad decisions, and even fleeing for his life on more than one occasion. There are too many trials in the story of David to note them all, but I want to take you to one that occurred in his life at the ripe age of 61. It is here that we find instead of being able to ride off into the sunset in the twilight of his reign with his family and a peaceful kingdom in tow, David was fleeing Jerusalem once again for his life. This time, he was driven out by his own son, Absalom, and thousands of his subjects plotted to kill him and take over his throne.

Can you imagine the disappointment? Can you relate to the disappointment?

I’m sure David’s plans were to enjoy these golden years; instead, he was facing immense rejection, disappointment, and uncertainty. Yet some words he spoke at this time may embolden you as you face the areas of your life that have not been realized to your expectations. As he was leaving Jerusalem with those faithful to him, including the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant, he instructed them to take the Ark back into the city, saying, “If the LORD sees fit, he will bring me back to see the Ark and the Tabernacle again. But if he is through with me, then let him do what seems best to him” (2 Samuel 15:25-26, NLT).

Never losing faith in God, David came to peace with his unrealized dreams and reconciled his life and its outcome to God’s sovereignty, though his natural tendency had to be to think, “Where’s God now?” David had lost everything of the world, but he did not abandon God—even as it seemed that God had abandoned him. Today’s verse (and all the psalms he wrote) show us David always returned his thoughts to God because he knew deep in his heart that God’s favor and love was always for him. As it turned out, David was eventually reinstated as king and lived his last nine years back in Jerusalem.

The foundation of our faith is not found in favorably answered prayers or happily-ever-after endings; and dreams unrealized are no reason to lose our confidence and faith in God’s closeness to us. After all, it was in the City of David, Bethlehem, that Emmanuel, “God with us,” would enter the world a thousand years later to testify to us that God, with his grace and love, is ever-present in our lives.

Josh Nelson
April 18, 2017
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