A Dream Deferred — Sort Of

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What do you do when your dream is deferred beyond your lifetime? How do you remain faithful in the here and now?

David had a dream, and God deferred it. We can relate; it seems that a lot of our dreams are “maybes” or “not yets.” But David was looking for a promise, and he got one—in a sense. He wanted to build a temple for God in Jerusalem, and God said “yes” to the temple but “no” to David doing it. It would be left for the next generation, for Solomon, David’s son.

What do you do when your dream is deferred beyond your lifetime? Many people lose heart, focus, and the ability to dream again. David didn’t. In fact, he gave much of his life to the dream he would never see.

According to 1 Chronicles 28-29, he drew up blueprints, contributed lots of money and materials, collected offerings from the people, charged the leaders to see the plan to completion, charged Solomon with overseeing the task, and committed the entire project to God. He even wrote a psalm to be read or sung at the dedication of the temple (Psalm 30).

He did everything he could to contribute to the fulfilled dream without disobeying, stopping just short of putting one stone on top of another. In other words, he let his heart steep in a deep desire that would never be completed during his lifetime.

Not many people can handle that combination of pain and hope, but those with an eye on eternity can. Those who are focused on what they can accomplish in their own generation will lose heart often. Those who are focused on building for future generations will still have hope at the end of their lives. That’s a perspective worth cultivating. And God honors it with fruitfulness that lasts forever.

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