For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Every child is a dreamer. Ask a group of kids what each would like to be when he or she grows up, and you will hear responses full of optimism and devoid of boundaries. They have no idea what it takes to be a doctor or an astronaut or the president, but they certainly think that these are all completely possible. What every child needs is another dreamer to come alongside and encourage that glimmer of hope. The difference between success and failure can be the simple love of someone who feeds the dream. That is what love is. It says “sure you can” and “why not”. Love lets its object know that the future is full of promise and possibility.
There are dreamers all around us, and most of them are well beyond childhood. Many of these dreamers will think that what they envision for the future is just a dream and not something worth working toward. God’s love gives us hope for the future in that He guarantees that there is so much more beyond what we see and experience here. Love lets us take ourselves to a place far away which is assuredly more beautiful and peaceful and bright. Love tells us there is infinitely more ahead for us than this present darkness. The love God gives us is the love He wants us to share with others, and that means that we must speak words that give them hope for the future.
When people dwell on the shadows that plague them today, we can point them to the light that can illuminate and chase away those shadows. When we encounter people in the depth of pain and suffering, we can give them the assurance that healing and peace are available for the taking. When we see people grow sad and despondent at the thought of this world being all there is, we can tell them of the perfectly complete future awaiting the children of God. Love points us ahead to the goodness that will outlast today’s troubles, and we are here to point everyone we meet in that same direction. Father, give us opportunities to lift others with a love that speaks of the hope and promise You make available for the future.