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God’s promises transcend all | Faithful Living

While downloading some favorite movies onto my husband’s iPad, I came across “Field of Dreams.” Released in 1989, it stars Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella, a restless and regret-filled Iowa farmer. He bulldozes his prime crop of corn, builds a lighted baseball field and risks bankruptcy when he decides he can no longer ignore a mysterious voice out in the corn that whispers, “If you build it, he will come.”

My favorite scenes change but I am partial to the scene in which Ray tries to persuade an elderly Doc Graham to come visit his Iowa ball field. Doc reminisces about his one and only time at bat as an aspiring pro player, and how he lived with the disappointment of being cut from the team.

“We just don’t recognize the most significant events of our lives while they’re happening,” Doc comments, his voice trailing off into thought when he realizes that he might never have become a treasured family physician had he not experienced that significant disappointment in his youth.

Frustrated by such gentle acceptance, Ray’s voice fills with intensity as he asks Doc, “But don’t you think it’s a tragedy to get that close to your dream and not be able to touch it?”

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do your dreams seem out of reach? I recently spoke with someone facing bankruptcy from overwhelming medical debt who worries he will never be able to own a home and I thought of Doc Graham. Disappointment. Worry. Fear. How do we move past these feelings --- to regroup and function and maybe even prosper --- when our original plans have been squashed?

I hammered God with a volley of tough questions. Then came one of those moments Doc talks about: a surprising moment of insight with the potential to strengthen and empower when there is nothing of the sort I can personally provide. It came as I recalled a verse I long ago underlined in my Bible in the book of Jeremiah. It is one of God’s most magnificent promises: “I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

God’s promises transcend everything—including the pain, hardship and suffering that is assuredly part of a lifetime of experiences. When we take these promises, claiming them as our own and building them into the lives, God’s return gift is reason and justification, comfort and clarity in all we experience.

Oh, we’ll struggle. We will suffer to varying degrees. But God’s dependable promise of a future filled with hope and spiritual prosperity allows us to step away from terror and onto a field of comfort, surrounded above by a blue sky to be filled with dreams.

 

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