The blog post title is in remembrance of David Cook’s chosen original song during the finale week of American Idol Season 7 (only the best season ever). And yes, I myself am very excited for the coronation night which will be in 8 hours. My stomach is already in utmost pain and agony due to waiting. Kudos to Jessica and Phillip for getting that far in American Idol. Just joining the top 24 is already a feat so I sure can call being in the top 2 a victory.
I digress though. My favorite lines from David’s song have got to be these:
If you don’t dream big, what’s the use in dreaming? If you don’t have faith, there’s nothing worth believing.
This week, I learned about dreaming BIG thanks to the message shared by our guest speaker in church and thanks to this book I just finished reading. I think it’s part of the Filipino culture to settle. I’m not sure why but we seem to reach for smaller goals—those that would be “practically achievable”. That’s why when someone tries to shake it up a little and challenge the status quo, we pass this off as being bibo and having one’s head in the clouds.
I’d like to challenge everyone to DREAM BIGGER just like Jabez. First Chronicles is basically this long list of names of families and their members. That’s actually what goes on from Chapter 1 to Chapter 4 until we reach verse 9. The author/narrator just had to stop to tell this significant person’s story.
According to the 1 Chronicles 4:9, Jabez means PAIN. Such a horrible name to have, right? But Jabez really was different ’cause he decided not to settle on his circumstance. In verse 10, he decides to pray this certain prayer:
Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.
If you ask me, that is called dreaming REALLY BIG. Jabez was basically written off to have a terrible future ’cause in the old times, what your name was would determine what you’d be just like how Solomon means wisdom. I can imagine him saying to himself one day: “There’s gotta be more to this!” And indeed there was.
You know the best thing about his story? In the end part of verse 10, it says:
So God granted him what he requested.
He got what he asked for. He got extraordinary blessings, even more than one can imagine. According to Dr. Bruce, adding “indeed” to a request is like adding multiple exclamation points. So if he asked “God, bless me!!!”, God most likely would respond with: “Blessings!!! Blessings!!! Blessings!!!”
He also got enlargement of territory. Well, for us now, this may not mean physical territory but I see this as enlargement of influence. It can be in the form of a promotion so that you can handle more people, having more friends, leading a new small group, or any new opportunities opening up that would cause you to have more people to affect.
He also had God’s hand with him. Ah, this is my favorite part! To have God’s hand would mean God interfering with all of one’s steps and ways. And this does not happen unless we acknowledge that on our own, we are weak. I’ve had lots of moments like that this month when I’d always feel unworthy and insufficient. Apparently, this is what God wants! When we finally say that “God, I can’t do this on my own. I am weak.”, God steps in and says “Finally! Let me take over!” If you ask me, I’d rather put my life in the hands of a great God that in the hands of a 21 year-old who has a crush on Sam Milby and Piolo Pascual (a.k.a. me).
He got kept away from harm. Don’t we just all need that? And by harm this is not just pertaining to accidents or evil people. By harm, he also meant the Devil’s temptations. We are not just given strength to conquer these temptations. We are actually taken to a room far away from them. We all know how they say that prevention is better than cure.
He was made free from pain. All tears, aches and sorrows are erased. They are replaced with joy, hope, and the promise of a good future (Jer 29:11).
I challenge everyone to dream BIG like Jabez. I actually am challenging myself to do that and I’m starting by praying the Jabez prayer everyday. Why don’t you try it and join me for this revolution? The world needs more dreamers, and not just ordinary ones but God-fearing ones. As David Cook’s song says:
It takes one hope to make the stars worth reaching for.