by Sheri Schofield
My husband Tim and I had a dream: We wanted to become missionaries overseas. We had wanted it since I was four and he was seven years old. We both grew up watching old movies that showed missionaries in pith helmets moving across deserts and through jungles. It looked exciting!
Preparation for that work, however, took a very long time. I went to Bible school and college. Tim went to college, which was when we met and married. Then Tim tackled medical school—on a military scholarship, which meant he was required to serve three years after residency in the military. We were in our mid-thirties by the time we were ready to begin anything in missions. We chose Panama. Tim would apply for a post in the military hospital, and I planned work with the missionaries in Panama City, where we hoped to live.
One day, Tim came home with a surprise. He walked into the house carrying a big bag. Our two children and I crowded around to see what he had brought home. Tim pulled four pith helmets out, put one on each of our heads, and solemnly said, “We’re going to be missionaries now.”
Tim grinned while I dissolved into laughter in his arms. The children, who had never seen those old missionary movies, were totally bewildered by our laughter. Tim said, “We’re going to Panama.”
A little over a year into our work there, we faced great devastation and had to die to our dream. God had another plan. He sent us in a direction we would never have chosen: politics. He put us there to open a door to free others from injustice. Afterward, God brought us to Montana. He said, “I have prepared a place for you here. Be at peace. Stay.” Now we serve God in this unexpected destination.
Joseph had two dreams, visions from God that indicated Joseph would one day rule his family. But he was only seventeen at the time. God had to prepare him. How? Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. In the land of his captivity, he rose to prominence as a manager. But his owner’s wife lied about him and got Joseph thrown into prison. There in prison, God again blessed Joseph, and he was given authority to work among the other prisoners. God gave Joseph the ability to interpret dreams, but those whom Joseph served did not speak up for him when they were freed.
If Joseph had taken his eyes off God, he would have become bitter. But he did not. He kept focused. He kept on trusting. Eventually, Pharaoh had a dream and needed an interpreter. He learned of Joseph and called him in for a consultation. Joseph told of impending famine and counseled storing grain in preparation for it. Pharaoh made Joseph second in command of all Egypt. When Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt for food, the vision God had given him years before was fulfilled. The brothers all bowed to him, for Joseph was the man in authority. (See Genesis 37- 47.)
Sometimes God plants a vision in our hearts, a dream that does not go away, a finger pointing in a direction we are to follow. He does not show us more than the first step, for we might grow weary at the long road ahead. Yet in the end, the dream God gives is amazing. We can trust God to accomplish his purposes … if we keep our eyes on him.
God is faithful. He has a plan. He is Lord of our dreams.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!
Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.
Join the conversation: Has God ever given you something different than what you dreamed He would? How did that turn out for you?