Sunday, February 8, 2015

Storing Up Your Dreams: A Lesson From Ecclesiastes

It has been such a week. So much excitement, so many nerves, so many dreams. I was walking on air for a few days and then reality finally called my name and yanked me back down to where I ought to be. Ooh, that can sting sometimes, can't it?

On the heels of my excitement over being chosen for the Five Enchanted Roses collection, I've been remembering the many times I've received rejection slips, those nice ones that say "Although your story was very good, it was not right for our publication." They say that writers need to have thick skins...I don't know about the rest of you, but I never seem to quite manage it. 

Something I was reminded of this week might be an encouragement to you as well. That sometimes our dreams are good dreams but not for today. Sometimes they are meant to be a part of our tomorrows. What you've written may not be right for today but it may be right for tomorrow. Every time we write a story, we improve our craft. Everything we attempt, even the failed attempts, are making us better people. Better writers. Would the excitement of winning be nearly so sweet if we had not first felt the sting of rejection? I had to ponder that for a moment, because I'd rather never feel the stinging part, but it really is quite true. We have so many dreams--dreams for our stories, dreams for our loved ones, dreams for our careers and our homes and our futures. Not all of them are meant to happen right here. Right now. That doesn't mean dreaming is bad. It doesn't mean the story was bad. It means we need to keep dreaming, keep storing up our hopes and plans and ideas for the day when they ARE meant to happen. Is this easy to do? Goodness, no.

This puts me in mind of my favorite passage in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3. This may seem an odd choice, as Ecclesiastes is not the place we first think to go when we need uplifting. That would probably be the Psalms. But I like Ecclesiastes 3 because it reminds us that everything has its time.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." The ESV uses the word matter instead of purpose, and I think they both fit. There is a time for every thing, every dream, every matter. We don't see the whole tapestry. We only see the part being woven right now. How much more glorious it must look from a distance, by the One who knows where the tangled threads will end, how each one will but tugged into place, making something beautiful. Not because the weaving was easy--My! There are so many threads in so many colors and textures, so many little hands trying to yank threads out of alignment into a plan of their own design. But with His infinite wisdom, He can take those tangled threads and puts them in their proper place, at the proper time. There is comfort in that. 

I will leave you with this final thought, Ecclesiastes 3:14, my life verse. I like it in the KJV, because I like the flow and poetry of the text. "I know, that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him." Not only is there a time for every failure and every success, there is also a purpose.

What we do with the disappointments and successes in our lives will determine the quality of the tapestry. It is meant to be beautiful, if we will let it.

I was going to end there, but on the way home from church this morning, this song "Dream for You" by Casting Crowns started playing and it seemed like such a perfect way to conclude this post. This is only a small portion of it, but it seems to sum up my turbulent thoughts better than I could ever hope to:

"My child, if you only knew,
All the plans that I have for you,
Just trust me, I will follow through,
You can follow Me.

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you.
I am strong when you're weak and I'll carry you,
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand,
I'll show you what I can do."


  1. So beautiful, Savannah, and so true. So encouraging...

    1. I'm glad! It was encouraging for me to gather my thoughts and write, and doubly so hearing from you! Miss you!!!

  2. Congrats for your story being chosen! Great post. :)

  3. This post is so very beautiful and so encouraging. It's easy to allow disappointments to drag us down, but when we think of how infinite and omniscient our Heavenly Father is, it's a comfort to know that He knows the outcome of all things and works them out for His glorious purpose. I love the verses you referenced as well as the verses in Isaiah that say that "They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles". Also love the verse in Habakukk that talks of God making our feet like hinds' feet so that we can climb to the higher places.

    I needed this post, so thank you very much. Looking forward to reading Wither when it releases. Was there a particular Scripture that inspired your story? God bless you.

    1. Meredith, it was lovely to hear from you. I apologize for not answering your question yet. When I started putting my thoughts together I realized I had a substantial answer for you. So I am going to publish a post over the weekend in response to your question :)