Emily Dickinson once wrote, “The heart wants what the heart wants.” No duh! Could anything be more obvious? Whether reasonable or unreasonable, the heart will emotionally invest in ideas or dreams that have no grounding in reality!

Perhaps you’ve experienced this in your own life.

Maybe you’ve dreamt of a job that you’ve always been unqualified for.

Or perhaps you’ve had dreams of a relationship that has never come around.

It could be that you’ve desired to be used by God for a ministry or a cause that seems impossible.

But no matter how unrealistic all of these dreams or desires may be, our hearts yearn for them.

It’s tempting to try to kill these unmet expectations and dreams. As bad as our mundane lives maybe, they’re better than the constant heartache that we have when we yearn for more.

We may be quick to discount these dreams and desires, but the fact that we have them is very significant. At the very least it shows us that our current lives are dissatisfying to us. We may be discontent in our present circumstances or season, or perhaps we’ve been disappointed by what life has handed us so far.

Dreams force us to admit that we are discontent. Like the exiles of Babylon, “we sit and weep when we remember Zion,” (Psalm 137:1).

But the minute that we admit we’re discontent, we find ourselves in a bind between what we want and what we have. We enter the tension that the prophet Habakkuk felt when he wrote: “the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,” (Habakkuk 3:17). We’re tempted to believe, as the people in Isaiah’s day: “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God,” (Isaiah 40:27).

But these dreams also speak to a deep desire that we are meant to prayerfully present before God.

Faithlessly, we think that something is wrong with us when we feel the angst, the tension, the anguish. “Why, my soul, are you downcast?” (Psalm 47:5) we cry out. But the unsatisfied tension of unrealized dreams and desires is the very thing that allows us to experience the God who immerses us in his presence, his promises, and his power.

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me,” (Psalm 47:7). How do you know that God is not doing something in you through the midst of the unsatisfied desires that plague you? It might not be the thing you want, but it will certainly be something that God will use to direct your steps and to shape you into what He wants.

Ryan Lunde
Young Adults Pastor

Subscribe to the Daily Fill