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A Dream Denied

“For our good God sometimes tries our courage and our love, depriving us of the things that seem to us, and which really are, very good for the soul. And if he sees us ardent in their pursuit, and yet humble, tranquil, and resigned to doing without and to the privation of the thing sought, he gives us blessings greater in the privation than in the possession of the thing desired. For in all things and everywhere, God loves those who with good heart and simplicity, on all occasions and in all events, can say to him, ‘Thy will be done.’” Francis de Sales

“He gives us blessings greater in the privation than in the possession of the thing desired.” Those words stung the first time I read them. They still sting now, years later. Because I have had dreams denied to me.

Good dreams. Dreams whose fulfillment would have glorified God. Dreams that touched the core of my soul, the essence of my being. But dreams that were denied.

It is perhaps the hardest lesson I have ever learned, and I don’t know that I have fully learned it yet: I must love God more than my dreams. Even good dreams. Trust him to do what is right, even when it hurts. Say “Thy will be done” … whatever his will is, no matter how many tears I may cry, despite the pain, right through the grief. “Thy will be done.”

  • Have you ever desired and sought after something good, and had it denied to you? What was it?

  • How did you respond to the denial?

Consider the following verses:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:2-5

  • Trials consist of many things, including sometimes being denied good things that we very much want. How can the above verses help you to focus on what is truly important in life?

  • What wisdom, blessings, or character development have you gained as a result of being denied something good?

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