It’s a tough question. I’m not sure God has dreams. I know He plans, purposes, performs and participates in our lives and with us. He made us in His image and likeness, and He is sovereign over all His creation. Yet we somehow are able to fall and fail, we stumble and even rebel against God’s will. “We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way… ” We are sinners. Our sins separate us from our God. Does God dream about us coming home?
In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, Jesus pictures God as the father of a youngest son who takes his inheritance from his father, leaves home and wastes it on harlots and wild living. Does that father dream about his son coming home?
The youngest son, having spent his inheritance, has nothing left. Can it get worse? Yes. A famine hits and he begins to starve. In desperation he gets a job feeding pigs, and no one gave him anything. Even the pig farmer won’t pay him. He’s wasted his father’s wealth, he’s tasted the wild life and lost everything, and now he’s dying, slowly, starving to death.
I’m thankful the story doesn’t end there, aren’t you?
When the son comes to his senses and realizes what he has done he decides to go home and ask for… not a hand out, not a loan, not a restoration to his former position as youngest son… No. He knows he can never deserve that. He will confess his sins and ask for the mercy of a place to work as a hired servant. That means the position of someone who is employed on a day by day basis and paid at the end of the day.
The father see him coming home. While the son is still a long way off, the father, filled with compassion, runs to meet him. The son begins his speech about his sin and not being worthy to be his son, but the father interrupts him, embraces him and covers him with kisses. The father calls for the best robe in the house to be put on his son, shoes for his feet and a ring for his finger. The father calls for a celebration, killing the fattened calf, music and dancing!
The father declares: This, my son, was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found! Is this God’s dream come true for all who come home to Him?
Do we share the father’s heart and dreams? This may actually be the point of the story. The oldest son did not share his father’s dream. In fact, the oldest son was completely baffled and ashamed of both his brother and his father’s response to this homecoming celebration.
Maybe Jesus is teaching us how important it is to share the dream of God for those who are lost and dead in sin. Perhaps this lesson is the one we need to learn and share.