I’ve been recently reading a book entitled “Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Pathway to Joy” by Larry Crabb. Faced with the shattered dreams of dear people around me and that of my own I hoped this would provide a unique perspective when life takes a turn that causes us to question what in the world God is doing. I was encouraged because this book didn’t offer the normal platitudes we often hear, but dares us to dream of better dreams.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Feel the Embrace (Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Pathway to Joy by Larry Crabb)
God wants to bless us. Because He can’t resist giving us the highest good, He’s determined to give us an encounter with Himself. It’s the greatest blessing He can think of. It’s the highest dream the self-aware human soul envisions.
But we’re not self-aware. We’re out of touch with the central longing of our hearts. An encounter with Him is what we want, but we don’t know it.
We dream lower dreams and think there are none higher. We dream of good marriages, talented kids, enough health and money to enjoy life, rewarding work, and an opportunity to make a difference in the world.
All good things. Of course we want them. But we think they’re the best things. That’s what God means when He calls us foolish.
The greatest blessing is no longer the blessing of a good life. It never was. It is now the blessing of an encounter with God. It always has been. But now, in the new way (the New Covenant), the greatest dream is available.
But we don’t view things that way. So God goes to work to help us see more clearly. One way He works is to allow our lower dreams to shatter. He lets us hurt and doesn’t make it better. We suffer and He stands by and does nothing to help, at least nothing that we’re aware we want Him to do.
It’s there that we discover our desire for God. We begin to feel a desire to know Him that not only survives all our pain, but actually thrives in it until that desire becomes more intense than our desire for all the good things we still want. Through the pain of shattered lower dreams, we wake up to the realization that we want an encounter with God more than we want the blessings of life. And that begins a revolution in our lives. (pages 3-4)
This is the essence: “Shattered dreams open the door to better dreams, dreams that we do not properly value until the dreams that we improperly value are destroyed. They help us discover true hope. We need the help of shattered dreams to put us in touch with what we most long for, to create a felt appetite for better dreams. And living for the better dreams generates a new, unfamiliar feeling that we eventually recognize as joy” (page 42)