Watching Your Dreams Burn

“Christ is indeed worth our all, yet will we live that statement?”

I penned those words back in 2017 for our film entitled
“Counting the Cost.” Little did I realize how deeply personal those words would become to me as I watch what seems to be the burning of many of my dreams.

Fire Burning Away at Wood
“All to Jesus I surrender” the old song goes. A more recent song says, “I lift my life, lift my life up, I give it all in surrender.”
Yes, we like to talk and sing about this thing called full surrender to the Lord. Yet, how
“full” is this surrender? I mean, what do you do when your dreams start to crumble as you follow this full-surrender-to-Jesus-thing?

This is a question I’ve been painfully wrestling through.
Yeah, surrendering to Jesus is great when the sun is shining and sailing is smooth. Yet, when the sun disappears and hurricane winds bear down on you, surrender isn’t easy.

What if following Jesus costs me my deepest longings, dreams and desires? Will I still follow Him?
Point blank, dead center, these questions have hit me full force.

What if our stance on God’s Word makes BOJF unpopular? What if our films never take off because we are too “preachy?” What if our call for films to reflect the holy nature of the God we serve puts us out of business?
What if my dream for a godly business called Because of Jesus Films…dies?
Will I still love and follow Jesus even then?

Tombstones in Field
What if my bold stance on Scripture causes friends and family to abandon me, even hate and shun me, causing me to feel abandoned and alone?
Will I still love and follow Jesus even then?

What if my dream to be a husband and a father dies because of my firm stance on God’s Word, causing me to walk this life without a helpmate and the blessing of children of my own?
Will I still love and follow Jesus even then?

What if my bold stance on proclaiming the Word causes people to stop inviting me to speak, causing my dream of being a speaker to die?
Will I still love and follow Jesus even then?

What if the Lord calls me to lay down my ambitious dreams for movie-making, never again working on creating God-honoring films? What if this fire in my bones to create such projects has to die?
Will I still love and follow Jesus even then?

What if my bold stance on Scripture puts me behind bars?
Will I still love and follow Jesus even then?

What if my bold stance on truth leads me to be tortured for my faith?
Will I still love and follow Jesus even then?

What if following Jesus costs me more than I thought I was going to have to pay? What if I lose all my possessions, money, family, friends and influence?
Will I still love and follow Jesus even then?

If all my dreams on my heart are torn from me and thrown into the fire to burn,
will I still love and follow Jesus even then?
Will I fall to my knees and praise Him, even as my dreams burn?

As this world continues to grow darker, at least from my human perspective, as battle lines become more distinct and the cost for following Jesus continues to be more fully drawn out, I have to ask myself this question.
Will I still love and follow Jesus even then?

For truly, I am watching what appears to be the burning of many of my dreams right now. Dreams that I firmly believed and still do believe that they were dreams God Himself laid on my heart.

As you watch your dreams become charred ashes, you ask yourself a lot of questions, most of them starting with "Why?" You wrestle with doubt, fear, frustration, discouragement, disappointment and heart-rending sorrow. And you ask yourself asking,
is Jesus really worth it?

Is He truly worthy?

I admit, I know the right answer. We all do, do we not?
Yet, words are cheap.
Saying He is worthy and living He is worthy are two totally different things.

As I watch dreams become charred ash, I know the right answer in my heart.
Everything else around me screams in defiance to this truth, my feelings especially loud on this point.

Charred Ashes From Fire
Yet, these are the times as a believer I cling to what I know, not what I feel.
Romans 8:28 holds true in all circumstances, even in the burning of my dreams.

I have to hold onto this truth, even as the fire continues to burn.

One of my favorites artists recently had his 21 year old firstborn die unexpectedly.
In his eulogy to his son, he wrote something I can’t rephrase better with my own words, so I’ll simply quote him.

“...I would want the world to know this...We don’t follow God because we have some sort of under-the-table deal with Him, like, we’ll follow You if You bless us. We follow God because we love Him. It’s our honor. He is the God of the hills and the valleys. And He is beautiful above all things.” -TobyMac

What else can be said? We love the Lord and that’s why we follow Him, no matter what dreams are burned, no matter what pain, suffering of valleys we walk through.

He saved us from the road we were on that was leading us straight to Hell. He sent Jesus to die for our sins, rose Him from the dead and sent His Holy Spirit to empower those who repent of their sin and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. He is with us in the storm and He loves us more than we can ever comprehend.

So even as I watch my dreams burn, He’s still my God and I will love Him and follow Him all my days, no matter what.

I have fully surrendered my life to Him. Have Your way Lord.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, the name of the Lord be praised.