March 3, 1992
The cartoon showed several fishermen on a frozen lake each beside holes the size of an ice auger — except one. His fishing hole was the size and shape of a whale! The thought provoking caption asked, “How big is the size of your fishing hole?”
Another expression relates to dreaming big: “It is better to aim for the stars and hit the woodpile than aim for the woodpile and hit your foot.”
Dreaming big does have its drawbacks. Sometimes we fail. Of course the misery of it seems emphasized by the large size of the dream hoped for but not accomplished. The up-side is that those daring enough to dream big are often able to put failure behind them and refocus on a new dream, perhaps even a bigger one.
Faith is related to dreaming big, at least that is what four friends of a paralyzed man found out. They loaded him on a stretcher and carted him down the street to a house where Jesus was staying. They heard this man was healing people and even though their friend was powerless, the four of them dreamed he would walk again. When they arrived at the house, they discovered they were not the only ones with dreams. The place was so crowded they couldn’t even get near the door, much less inside. At this point, they had a conference. How could their dream come true?
The rest of the story is recorded in Luke 5. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. So when He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
What? The four expected Jesus to heal their friend — but instead He declared his sins were forgiven? As they wondered what this meant, Jesus turned to some ever-present critics and challenged their unspoken complaint. “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man (referring to Himself) has power on earth to forgive sins — He said to the man who was paralyzed, I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”
At that the man rose up, folded his cot and left, glorifying God. Not only was the auger-sized dream of his friends fulfilled — but Jesus carved out a whale-sized dream and fulfilled it too.
Do we dream too small? Sometimes I do, at least when it comes to what I envision God wants or can do. Those little dreams reflect a little faith. But I am learning that Jesus longs to give us dreams a size or two too big. For one thing, He wants us to grow into them, to become much more than we thought we could be. But the main reason is so He can demonstrate to us that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think (Ephesians 3). Therefore, every time we dream too small, we could be limiting God and missing out on really knowing His power in our lives.
So remember the whale-sized hole — not just the next time you are fishing, but whenever you are praying... or dreaming.