My husband winds up and whips a snowball just past my dog’s head. It smacks into the thin layer of snow that’s fallen today. The dog trots around, hunting. A hound mix, he’s determined to find this snowball.
We know what the dog does not: the snowball broke upon landing and cannot be dug up, no matter how much snow he roots through with his quivering black nose.
The fact that he hunts with gusto makes it no less of a fool’s errand. The search is hopeless.
Sometimes, pursuing dreams seems similar.
It’s as if God gathered up a handful of good stuff–a calling, an opportunity, a purpose, means to pursue it–and let it fly past my head. It plops down so close I can hear it. He meant that good, good thing for me. I’m just sure of it.
So, I scour my surroundings for it, but my work doesn’t yield the results I’m looking for. Maybe I write for publication but receive mostly rejections. Maybe I tell others about Christ but they’re not interested. Maybe I get involved with a ministry but events lack participation. It’s clear: this hunt for a realized dream is not so easy as it first appeared.
Hunting the yard for snowballs, my dog will eventually look to me or my husband for help. Likewise, hunting for realized dreams, I look back to God with questioning eyes. This is what You meant me to do, right?
If you’re after His heart and His plan for you, you’ve done this, too, haven’t you? When we sense His reassurance, we renew our hunt, nose to the ground, as obsessed as a hound.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1, NET
Faith, it seems, is much easier for a dog than for a person.
While a dog will eagerly search, questions haunt us. Was this a real dream meant for me, or am I chasing something as temporary as a snowball? Is it really there for me to find?
The answer is yes and no.
If we’re seeking accolades and recognition, we’ve lost the scent.
If we’re looking for immediate success, we’re on the wrong trail.
If we think we know exactly how this dream-come-true will look when we tug it out of a snowbank, we’re going to be surprised.
On their own, the milestones we see in this lifetime are about as satisfying as eating snowballs for dinner. They’ll leave us cold and hungry.
On the other hand, God’s promises will survive any impact or pressure–death included, because His good plan extends into eternity.
These all died in faith without receiving the things promised, but they saw them in the distance and welcomed them and acknowledged that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth. But as it is, they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13, 16, NET
Eternal purpose? Yes, that’s there.
An invitation to relationship with God? Yes, scrawled across every snowflake.
We will not be disappointed when we seek these things with Jesus.
He has promised an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It is reserved in heaven for you, who by God’s power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (see 1 Peter 1:4-5, NET)
God isn’t in the business of throwing snowballs. His promises won’t disintegrate, even when we scrape along rock bottom. They don’t melt or crumble. He never fakes us out. He always delivers on His promises more perfectly than any dream-come-true we would think to look for.