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Why Do Old Men Need to Dream Dreams?

A friend wrote in response to my last post about what to do when your dreams die. He said, “My natural tendency is to say, ‘vision-casting’ is the responsibility of the older generation. Youth is a time to ‘dream dreams.’ He went on to make the following point:   The Lord reverses it.&nbsp…
By Seth Barnes
A friend wrote in response to my last post about what to do when your dreams die. He said, “My natural tendency is to say, ‘vision-casting’ is the responsibility of the older generation. Youth is a time to ‘dream dreams.’ He went on to make the following point:
 
The Lord reverses it. God spoke through Joel to say: “After this, I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.” (Joel 2:28)
 
By His Spirit, the Lord will plant visions in the hearts of the young. Vision considers what is and determines what can be. Youth is a season for seeing where God is working, pushing up the sleeves, and following His call.
 
So what about old men and women – what is our job? 
 
Apparently, our job is to dream! Dreams keep us hopeful. Unless the old dream dreams, they will become disillusioned. Life is painful. The longer we live, the more we see that we don’t understand.
 
My friend described what this has meant in his own life recently as multiple friends have suffered: “On June 19 an emerging leader falls while trimming a tree and lays paralyzed today.  On June 22 an older, godly buddy goes in for bypass surgery – there’s a mistake and he bleeds to death in the OR. A relatively straight-forward procedure ends abruptly. On June 26 my grandson goes backpacking for the weekend and ends up on crutches.”
 
It’s enough to make you question God’s goodness. Unless the old dream dreams, we will be consumed by disappointments and pain of heart and body.  Our view of what is can become clouded by what should have been.  
 
The reality of pain means that the old must keep dreaming. More is coming. We must keep focusing on what God promises to bring about. 
 
We are promised that the earth WILL BE FILLED with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the seas. (Hab. 2:14) It’s coming. No question. 
 
The result
 
If we dream, what will it look like? How we will experience it? What will be the results? 
 
Certainly praise, thanksgiving, resilience – all these will be ours.  Eccles. 5:20 summarizes it this way:  “He will not much remember the days of his youth because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.”  
 
If the old keep dreaming, we will remain hopeful in the face of losses, positive without succumbing to sentimentality or naiveté. 
 
My friend concluded by saying, “I’ve been dreaming. My dream is that the Lord raises up a new generation of visionary servants, bold in courage and broken in spirit. I dream that He’ll do a new thing – new initiatives.”
 
“May He call the passing generation like me into a fresh season of hope, certainty, and fervency even stronger than when we were more directly engaged on the fields in the past.”
 
We who are older need to dream! Too many of us feel overwhelmed and even defeated by all that life has brought in 2020. If you feel yourself getting old, keep dreaming.
 
God has promised us dreams that will bring hope – to us and to those around us.

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