That’s the promise that God has made to us.
We think we have great ideas, lofty visions, significant life plans. Dream big has become our mantra.
But God, in His quiet, collected, eye-winking and soft chuckling way, smiles and nods at our miniscule dreaming and goes along with His immeasurably more.
It wouldn’t bother us a bit, not at all, if his way of immeasurably more was a little more evident to our carnal eyes. We wouldn’t mind his plans for immeasurably more if they were just bigger versions of what we wanted. If he turned dreams for a nice house into a mansion, or the wish for a steady job into a lucrative career, things would be just fine with us.
But, more often than not, that doesn’t seem to be God’s pattern.
He prefers to bring about immeasurably more in unexpected ways. Carpets are pulled out from under our feet. Roofs are shattered above our heads. The stability and paved roads we dream of are stripped away from us. We are left reeling. And God calls it immeasurably more.
Take the followers of Jesus, for instance. They recognized Him as someone important. They could tell He was worth listening to. They were willing to throw out their coats for him to ride across. They waved palm branches and shouted praise. They had dreams for this new leader. Maybe at last they would walk free of oppression. Maybe they would have a leader for their rebellion. Maybe the Roman Empire would at last be overthrown. Maybe they could begin to hope of a better life for their children. They had big dreams.
God’s dreams were bigger.
Like a fragile piece of glass breaking into a million pieces, these people with high expectations watched their big dreams hit the ground and shatter just days after that triumphant entry. The man they had pinned their hopes to hung dying on a cross, and along with his death came the death of all they had imagined.
We were wrong to put our faith in him, they must have thought. We were foolish to get so caught up in all the frenzy centered around this man. We shouldn’t have gotten our hopes up. Our dreams were too big.
Too big? Or not big enough?
Little did they know that as he took his last breath, the gates of heaven were flung wide open. As his body became lifeless, all of life was forever altered. As death held him captive, freedom was now theirs. Through his suffering he was leading them to the throne of God. More than overthrowing a mere empire, He had just overthrown evil itself. Not only did their children have a better life in store for them, all of mankind for all the days to come would be able to enter into redeeming grace.
God’s dreams were immeasurably more than all anyone could ask or imagine.
“The story of Jesus’ grand, though surprising, entry into Jerusalem, then, is an object lesson in the mismatch between our expectations and God’s answers. The bad news is that the crowds are going to be disappointed. But the good news is that their disappointment, though cruel, is at the surface level. Deep down, Jesus’ arrival at the great city is indeed the moment when salvation is dawning. The ‘Hosannas’ were justified, though not for the reasons they had supposed. To learn this lesson is to take a large step towards wisdom and humility, and towards genuine Christian faith.” – N.T. Wright
I wish I could have been among the crowds on that first Palm Sunday. I wish I could take the hand of the one standing their with a hopeful heart and big dreams. I wish I could whisper to her. “You will be disappointed. He isn’t going to do what you want him to do. He isn’t who you think He is. But don’t lose heart, He has something in store here that is bigger than anything we could have dreamed of. He is about to redeem humanity.”
I wish I could be with you as you weather the unexpected storms that this life has blown onto your path. I wish I could take your hand as you weep, mourning the dreams that have been shattered. I wish I could whisper into your ear, “Though you are disappointed now, you won’t be forever. There is more happening here than what you can see. There is beauty being sown here that will surpass your wildest dreams. Christ is about to redeem your world. He is about to do immeasurably more.”