Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

How To Find New Life When A Dream Dies

1 Kings 17:17-24

17 Some time later the woman’s son became sick. He grew worse and worse, and finally he died. 18 Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?”
  19 But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.” And he took the child’s body from her arms, carried him up the stairs to the room where he was staying, and laid the body on his bed. 20 Then Elijah cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, why have you brought tragedy to this widow who has opened her home to me, causing her son to die?”
  21 And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” 22 The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived! 23 Then Elijah brought him down from the upper room and gave him to his mother. “Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!”
  24 Then the woman told Elijah, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”

            Elijah’s life is a series of examples for us on how faith sees us through the dry and difficult seasons of life. You can read the story of Elijah yourself in the pages of the Bible, but for now, trust me in this: Elijah’s life is a series of challenges and trials that seem to go from one level of difficulty to another, with each new one harder than the one before.

            First Elijah finds himself in a drought, but God provides him with a fresh water stream to drink, and food served daily delivered by ravens. But the stream dries up.

            Then God leads Elijah to a widow in Zarephath who would feed him. She didn’t have enough food to feed herself and her son, but she took Elijah at his word, and trusted in God to supply all her needs in abundance.  God was faithful. Elijah, the widow, and her son all had enough to survive the dry season.

            But then, one day the widow’s son became seriously ill, and eventually dies. The widow was understandably grief stricken. She blames Elijah for allowing this heartache to come to her: “O man of God, what have you done to me? Have you come here to point out my sins and kill my son?” (1 Kings 17:18) she asked.

            Surely Elijah must have thought to himself, “Can my life get any worse? God, it seems like I go from one bad experience to another. Now the widow You set me to, to get me through this dry season has had to watch her son die. All she has done is be faithful to Your Word. And look what happened! When is this ever going to end?”

            Do you know that feeling? It is a common one. “God I am trying to follow your plan for my life. But it doesn’t seem to be working out like I thought. In fact, instead of getting better, it looks like things are getting worse.”

            Don’t you think Elijah is heartbroken at the thought of the widow who has been faithful to do so much for him in the midst of his dry season, to now have to deal with the loss of her son on top of everything else?

            And then, Elijah has to handle the grief of the widow as she blames him for this tragedy that has come to her life.

            It looks like the dream has died. Elijah, the widow, and her all, all believed God would see them through the difficult time. But it doesn’t work out like they had hoped.

            What do you do when the dream dies?

            First, you

1) Pray (1 Kings 17:20a)

20 “Then Elijah cried out to the Lord…”

            I often wonder if most Christians really understand the power of prayer. I sometimes wonder if I really do myself!

            When I think of how inconsistent and nonchalant most people are when it comes to prayer, I am sure we don’t fully understand prayer’s power.

            The Bible says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16b, NLT).

            Someone once said,

            “In Acts chapter two, they prayed for ten days. Peter preached for ten minutes and 3,000 were saved. Today, churches pray for ten minutes, preach for ten days, and three get saved.”

            John Wesley once said,

            “Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergy or lay…such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.”

            John Maxwell has written,

            “God’s hand moves when people and pastors pray together. Through prayer God makes the impossible, possible.”

            Elijah understood that!

            Elijah was in an impossible situation. He needed to be in contact with the God who makes the impossible, possible.

            Elijah had a big problem. He needed a God who was bigger!

            Elijah prayed!

            What is impossible situation facing you today?

            Do you still have hope that God is bigger?

            Can you still believe that God can do the impossible if you pray?

            Elijah knew when the dream dies, you need to pray.

            What do you do when the dream dies?

            Second, you

2) Refuse to give up on the dream (1 Kings 17:21a)

21 And he stretched himself out over the child three times…

            In the middle of a story that is filled with tragedy, grief, and uncertainty, there is this one, odd, incident.

            When the widow’s son dies, Elijah takes his body up to his room, lays him on the bed, and then three times Elijah stretches himself out over the boy’s lifeless body.

            Is that not a strange picture to imagine?

            Why would Elijah do such a thing?

            At first I thought, maybe Elijah, like the widow is grief-stricken, and for a few moments is just overwhelmed by the tragic turn of events.

            Elijah is heartbroken at the widow’s loss, that’s for sure. But his actions are more than just expressions of grief.

            Stretching himself out over the boy’s dead body, is Elijah’s way of staying in touch with the dream. He refuses to let go of the dream that the widow’s son will live. Elijah refuses to give up on the boy.     

            Elijah keeps in touch with the dream. He keeps in touch with hope. He won’t give up and let go.

            It is hard to have hope when your dream dies. But that is the time when hope is needed most.

            Have you lost touch of your dream today?

            Maybe you are saying, “You don’t understand. My dream is dead. What I had hoped for is gone and will never come back. There is no use to hold on to a dream that has died.”

            But there is!

            Today I encourage not to give up on the dream God has given you!

            Don’t let go of what God has promised you, even if you don’t see any sign of it coming to pass.

            Hold on to your dream from God. I don’t know what God is doing in your life, but I know God is still at work.

            Don’t you give up on God, because God has not given up on you.

            What do you do when the dream dies?

            Third, you

3) Believe God for new life (1 Kings 17:21b)

21 And he…cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.”

            Elijah cried out to God and asked for new life.

            Elijah’s prayer is not just for comfort in a time of grief. It is for new life to overcome the power of death. Elijah prays that death will not be the end of the story.

            The heart and soul of the Christian faith is the hope that there is life after death.

            After Good Friday comes Easter Sunday.

            After the cross comes the empty tomb.

            One of the biggest struggles we human beings have is  to have faith that new life can arise out of a dream that has died.

            Elijah was willing to hang on to hope in a hopeless situation and to ask God to bring resurrection life into the midst of a dead dream.

            Could you do that?

            Would you have the courage to ask God to lift up the lifeless pieces of your broken dream and breathe new life into it?

            When you look at the dreams in your life that have died, can you see yourself with faith to ask God to bring resurrection and new life?

            Where you see an ending, would you ask God to bring a new beginning?

            Can you do that today?

            Right now?

            It’s time for God’s people to pray.

            We have seen what life and the world can do to our dreams.

            But we need to hold on to those dreams. God has much more that He wants to do in our lives, if we will just refuse to give up on the dreams God has for us.

            Do you need God’s new life in your dry season today?

            Is this the day you are willing to call on God, and ask God to bring Easter Sunday out of our Good Friday?


One Response to “How To Find New Life When A Dream Dies”

  1. Thank you for this post. It instructed and encouraged my life today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: