"Here comes that dreamer!" they said to each other. "Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams."(Genesis 37:19-20 NIV)
Joseph was a dreamer.
His brothers scoffed at him, made fun of him, and even wanted to kill him because of it. But God had given Joseph the ability to dream. God had a plan and purpose for Joseph.
What can we learn from Joseph’s life?
1. Don’t give up on your dream, even if things don’t start out well.
Joseph’s dreams didn’t initially make him an honored man. Instead, his dreams got him into a lot of trouble. But that didn’t stop him.
You may experience rejection from editors and agents. You may not final in writing contests. You may feel discouraged by all there is to learn about writing and the publishing industry. But don’t let those things stop you.
2. Don’t give up on your dream, though others don’t support it.
Joseph’s brothers actually wanted to kill him because they felt so threatened by his dreams and status with their father.
Recently, Annette and I sat in a McDonald’s with our crit partners, discussing our work. A young man, about 20 years old, approached us. He apologized for intruding, but overhearing our conversation, realized we were writers. He asked if we’d look at a paragraph he’d written (stored in his phone) and give our input. You see, he had been discouraged by so many people who had told him that writing was a waste of time, he’d given up. He walked away beaming after we told him to NEVER GIVE UP.
Your friends and family may not understand your desire to write. They may not show any interest. They may be blunt about their feelings and that can hurt. But if God has planted that dream deep in your heart, let it grow and blossom. Anything that comes from Him is NOT a waste of time.
3. Don’t give up on your dream, though your journey is full of surprises.
Who would have thought that Joseph would have experienced all that he did? Even to the point of being put in prison?
The writing journey may also include surprises. You may experience physical, emotional, relational, financial, or spiritual challenges along the way. Your dream will invite attack. God is still with you.
4. Don’t give up on your dream, though it takes a lifetime to fulfill.
It took twenty-three years before Joseph’s dream was fulfilled. But in the end, he reconciled with his brothers and saved a nation.
It may take years – and it often does for writers – to see the kind of success they hope for. But it’s important to remember that although God’s timetable may not look like ours - His is perfect.
Never give up on your dream!