The Dreams God Placed in Our Hearts | Daniel Du

In New York, I’ve met so many people who have great vision for their lives and who are here for big things. People here want to make it on Broadway or produce their own feature films; people here want to change the world. I definitely want to be a part of something big. It’s what is so enticing about being in this city. Yet as a follower of Christ, some of the dreams I have seem almost selfish to hope for; I want to be a leader, have the spotlight, and leave a legacy.


And while at first these desires started with building my own kingdom, God has already been digging through my heart in his rich and lavish grace to show me that at their core, he gave my dreams for the flourishing of myself and of others. My desire for legacy moved toward a growing heart for sustained transformation through the Gospel in our generation. My desire for a spotlight was a need to discover my voice and the calling God had for my life. And my desire to be a leader was a calling to pursue the selfless leadership of Christ.


As I kept walking with God through these desires, I wanted that for New York, I wanted that for the disconnected and hurting here in this city. But I’m here currently feeling anxious at many points and frustrated rather than hopeful and expectant. It has been so discouraging at times feeling like God gave me a call and a vision for something that seems like might never happen.


Right now, I’m in one of those “I’m not getting much of what I want” seasons of my life. I feel like building community is harder than ever. I feel like I should have arrived somewhere further than I’ve already come. I yearn to lead and point people to God through my life and my ministry, but I’m just hitting walls and forced into places of waiting in many areas of my life.


In this current reality, I’ve begun to see that the biggest hindrance to my dreams is myself. I want these good things so badly that I serve these ends as my master. And as I want good things from God and finding my identity in those things, it leads to some extreme anxiety, frustration, and bitterness. But God is good and he knows better than I, and I’m just beginning to realize that in an almost counterintuitive way, as I’m getting nothing that I feel like I really want, God is preparing my heart and my story for everything I could ever want. I’m beginning to see that God is in the business of bringing life out of Death. That he needs to put to death certain things in order to bring life.


God keeps bringing me back to the story of Joseph- how he at first had ridiculous dreams of his brothers bowing down to him. Yet it took a whole life of humbling and trusting in a seemingly absent and silent God for the realization of that seemingly self-centered dream to turn out to be a beautiful fulfillment of reconciliation in their family as well as playing into the larger narrative of saving a whole region from famine.


I know God is working in my heart to help me want him above anything else and also in this process make into fruition the dreams he’s laid on my heart. I’m beginning to both believe in those dreams but surrender them to God who is the author and perfecter of my hopes and dreams and who will use them for His Glory in ways I can’t even imagine.

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