I was thinking recently about King David and how he wanted to be the one to build the place where God would dwell, the house for the Lord, but God said you can plan it but you won’t build it, 1 Chronicles 28:3. King David’s son Solomon was given the task to complete the plans for the house of the Lord using the plans that his Father had made.
There was another who did a lot of work but the next generation got to enjoy the fruits and that was Moses. He spent forty years wrangling some stubborn people toward the land promised by God where they would build a nation. Because of the sin Moses committed out of anger and frustration God said that Moses would never enter the Promised Land, Numbers 20:12. God has a standard for His people to meet and leaders are not exempt from that standard. In my own life I have seen the dreams of a parent be fulfilled by their children.
My Mother had two dreams as a young woman. She wanted to become a nurse and she wanted to be a missionary. She never achieved either dream but she often said that she had seen both of her daughters fulfill her dreams for her. My sister was a registered nurse and had a long career taking care of other people in hospitals and nursing homes. She was very good at her job and she was a kind and gentle nurse. On the other hand, I had the pleasure of spending two summers on mission trips and they were life altering for me. While I never made missions my career, although I certainly tried to, I did at least get to help fulfill my Mom’s long held dream. I think my Mom would have made a great nurse. While she never saw herself as a missionary I would say that she was the best missionary because she spent years as a foster parent and as a daycare provider. Her mission was to take care of children and I think that is very admirable.
My Father loved music but never learned to play an instrument. His grandmother was an accomplished musician and a graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music. She taught her own children how to play musical instruments. My Father’s Mom died when he was eleven and so he never got the opportunity to learn music from her. His dream was for all his children to learn music and we did. My sister and I took piano lessons for years. My brother started piano lessons but it was soon determined he was wasting his time and so he dropped the lessons. He did, however play the juice harp, not exactly a great instrument but he could play it which is more than I can say! My sister also played the viola and the violin. I learned a few cords on the guitar but I certainly don’t play it well. I took opera voice lessons as a teen and so I can honestly say that my sister and I fulfilled my Dad’s dream for us. I am thankful he enjoyed our playing.
God has a plan for every person’s life. Listen to what the psalmist wrote concerning those plans.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:4-5, (New International Version or NIV).
How true this is of our God. He has planned so carefully every detail of the world around us and we don’t always realize how vast and great those plans are. We think that we are in control of our lives, but actually God is the one in control. God will get us to where we are to be and what a journey that can be. I think of all the experiences in my own life and how they all seem to correlate in telling of the wonders of God through my testimony. It is mind-boggling to me! Have I always gotten to do what I thought was the best for me? No, like King David and Moses I have been prevented from some dreams being fulfilled. For instance I always dreamed of my 50th Wedding Anniversary, but I only made it to year 34. I dreamed of growing old together but we grow old apart. I thought I would have a career after raising my family but I have been prevented thus far. Of course, to be fair, I am still rearing a child so my job as a Mom hasn’t been completed yet. The path that God has placed me on is exciting and full of adventure and enjoyable so I am content in my circumstances because God is in control of my circumstances.
Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:20-21, (NIV).
You see God has a plan for my life and when I am obedient to Christ and accept the discipline that comes from God and look to Jesus for advice which I find in the Bible, then I am allowing God’s plan to prevail. When I stray from God and am no longer obedient then God’s plans for me will not prevail. The choice is mine, and I choose to be obedient. Why? Because I know what happens to the disobedient.
The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided. When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:5-9, (NIV).
I want to avoid evil whenever I can because I don’t like to suffer at the hands of evil. If I am to suffer, then let it be because I am Christ’s and not because I have been disobedient. When I am disobedient and make it my lifestyle then who will protect me? Who will provide for me? Who will care for me? No one! But if I suffer because I have been obedient then I have help to overcome evil with good and to survive the suffering.
My parents were prevented from fulfilling some of their dreams but God was gracious to them and allowed the next generation to fulfill them. I am sure that the hours I played the piano for my Dad and Mom were enjoyable to them as were the hours they listened to my sister play. I think that there is satisfaction in seeing our children achieve what we didn’t have the opportunity to do.
I want to see my children and grandchildren achieve a stronger and deeper faith in Jesus Christ than I have. This is my dream for them. I want to see them overcome the evil of divorce by staying married until death with their spouses. I want to see them growing in their faith. I want to see them forgiving me and walking in love within our family. I trust that God will bring it about when the time is right, just as He fulfilled my parents dreams through my sister and me. What dreams are unfulfilled in you? Have you talked to God about them? Have you asked that your children or grandchildren be allowed to fulfill them?
There are other examples from the Bible of people who had dreams fulfilled by the next generation. Think about Mordecai and how Esther became a Queen and was able to save her people, you can read about it in the book of Esther. Also I think of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, renamed Shadrach; Meshach; and Abednego. Imagine how their parent’s dreams were shattered when the Babylonians took these boys captive and yet they became high government officials in several kingdoms, you can read about them in the book of Daniel. Then my all-time favorite is the story of Joseph who was sold into slavery and his Father told he was dead yet he became the second in command of Egypt and saved his family from starvation, Genesis 37-48. You see there are many examples of people who saw their children fulfill something they wanted to do but were prevented. Sometimes it was their own disobedience that caused the blessing to be transferred to the next generation, other times it was the sin of a nation that caused the transfer.
But the point for all of us is that God is in control of our lives. He created us and He has plans for us if only we obey. Do you have a dream that is being fulfilled by the next generation? Just know that God is blessing you through them and give thanks. I know that I am giving thanks for all the blessings God has given me in my music. Thanks Dad and Mom, for having a good desire in your heart and thank you God for letting me fulfill their desire.
Until next time…Katherine