It’s not just a dream. Last night I had one of those dreams that is as big as life. Most of us have experienced a dream- where the message lingered as if to say- “pay attention- there is a something special here for you.” God speaks to us, often in unexpected ways- in a dream, through a moving sunset, as a dear one passes from this life to the next, or in a quiet peaceful nudge. His voice speaks to us in unlimited ways. He speaks through his word, love of family, friends, or co-workers.

In this dream I was surrounded by friends causally talking. Our conversation turned to seeing God’s participation in our lives. We shared with each other our life purpose and how we use our gifts to bless others by saying. “I was born to …” Each one shared something simple, yet how it impacted others. I heard myself confidently saying- “I was born to share music, a man injured in a motorcycle accident, fragile and unable to speak, taps his toe to my music.” (I serve adults with developmental disabilities at the All Faiths Chapel - BSDC.)

“I was born to pray, a woman asked for prayer- her son’s girlfriend had an appointment later that day for an abortion- we prayed. Then unexpectedly – the young couple decided to commit to each other and become a family.”

“I was born to encourage by example, while working full time and attending college as a non-traditional student- a young co-worker watched as I steadily worked toward my goals of degree completion. (Unaware of her observation, she stated she was inspired by my efforts- if I could do it, she also could complete her degree.) Today she is a teacher impacting students.”

Like most of us, I have a tendency to underestimate my witness or impact as a Christ believer. I woke up feeling hopeful and encouraged that even the smallest of efforts we give can make a difference. As Mother Theresa once said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” I share this to encourage you who may doubt your personal value. Perhaps there is a voice saying you are insignificant or do not measure up- that is not the voice of God.

God speaks love messages, to encourage and embrace you. Perhaps you might also be doing small things with love and faithfulness. Be encouraged. Those small things make a difference. Your life is important. You are gifted in unique ways. As one relies on the God given strength within, others are encouraged. When one’s heart is filled with joy- knowing one’s identity in Christ- forgiven and redeemed, that joy overflows from one’s heart outward to bless others. We can be encouraged to know even the little things done in secret, are recognized by our God who loves us more than we can imagine. Scripture tells us, “We are His witness.”

I’m reminded of young Samuel, who received a “God” message during the night. Samuel grew up under the Priest Eli, amidst his sons’ corruption. (1 Samuel 3) Before Samuel knew the Lord, he heard a voice calling him by name. Samuel thought Eli was calling for him. On the third time, Eli recognized it was God who was speaking to Samuel. He advised Samuel to respond by saying, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” How often is the Lord trying to get our attention and we discount his message? Samuel began to know God, not just about God. We too may question whether God is speaking to us. We talk to God in our prayers. Surprisingly, God wants to speak to us. Like Samuel, God longs to guide, comfort, and give us hope. We can follow Samuel’s response to God, by saying “Yes Lord, speak, I am listening.”

Perhaps, like Samuel- you are in a dark place - listen- God speaks. Perhaps, like David the Shepherd - you are in a wilderness - make music- God hears. Perhaps you identify with Samson - who experiences many victories but made the wrong choices- God can use you again! May you have joy as you go forth- knowing God is always with you and loves you with His everlasting love.

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