I’m not sure who officially came up with the term “God-sized dream,” but Holley Gerth and Stephanie Bryant sure have done a lot to put it on the tips of the tongues of people all over. They describe a God-sized dream as…
.. Tenaciously believing you’re made for more…. More of Jesus, more of what he’s created you to be, more of what he’s called you to do. Less of you, actually, and more of all he is and all he has for you—which is beyond what you can even imagine. – Squee Inc.
Here’s the thing about the Bible. It’s full of awesomeness. And I mean that quite literally, as in the truly awesome power of God. Last week the Bible taught me about the real size of God-sized dreams.
I was reading Jesus Is ____ by Judah Smith for our small group, and something stuck out to me in the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus. Jesus visited Jericho, a popular town in His day, and was walking through the streets. A crowd of people was gathering around Him, because they’d heard of the great things He was doing in other towns and they wanted to see Him for themselves. Zacchaues, who was the chief tax collector in Jericho, also wanted to get a good look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he climbed a tree down the road. To his surprise as Jesus walked by He stopped under the tree and called up to Zacchaeus by name.
“Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” – Luke 19:5b (NLT)
The account continues that Zacchaeus, who was shocked that Jesus knew him by name, climbed down and “took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.” The rest of the crowd was upset. As the chief tax collector, Zacchaeus would have been an employee of the Roman empire, which was oppressing the Jewish people, and Zacchaeus would have made his living by squeezing every last penny out of his own people. He was not the kind of person that the Jewish people expected their Savior to hang out with.
But while they were complaining, Jesus and Zacchaeus were having a conversation back at Zacchaeus’ place. And this is what happened…
Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” – Luke 19:8-10 (NLT)
When I read the story this time, something stood out to me: Jesus traded the opportunity to reach tons for the opportunity to reach one.
The other day I was thinking about how so many of us have dreams, and we often feel like we have to do something big for it to really matter. At least that’s something I struggle with when it comes to my own God-sized dream to help hurting people overcome the obstacles to wellness in their life, whether those obstacles are physical, mental, emotional, financial, environmental, or a combination of all of the above.
In trying to make a difference and live out more of what Jesus has called us to do, we can easily overlook the small things that we’re already doing or the small opportunities He places in front of us to love another. Zacchaeus was a small man, quite literally. It would have been easy for any of us to overlook him in a crowd. Add to that the fact that he was a traitor to his own people. Someone Judah Smith describes as likely more concerned with status and wealth than with whether or not his actions honored God. But Jesus saw him, picked him out, and spent time showing him that he mattered.
And in spending time with that one person, Jesus changed a life.
Isn’t that awesome?
God has put dreams in our hearts to make us more like Him and to lead us into the life He imagined for us. But He’s not using a measuring stick to assess how well we’re measuring up to that dream. Instead, I’m starting to see that the dreams He’s given us are invitations to join Him in something He’s already up to… something He’s already at work bringing to life inside of us and around us. And it might not unfold how we imagined. It might be a series of small windows or stepping stones or loving on one person at a time. Or it might look like bigger things than we ever imagined. And it’ll likely be a combination of both. What really matters though is that when we’re sticking with Him, He’s at work, and every little piece of love that we give or receive has a power to change a life – both ours and someone else’s.
What about you? Do you have a G0d-sized dream (big or small) and do you ever feel like you’re not doing enough?
More good stuff here…
Tanya at Truth in Weakness talks about the hidden blessings when we feel stuck.
Emily Freeman on what a hundred lifeguards taught her about her calling.
Lisa-Jo Baker on the mightiness of motherhood.
Original photo of “Small and big tree” by Just2shutter from freedigitalphotos.net. All text and embellishments added by us. Booyah.