God has placed a beautiful dream in my heart, a dream so big it hurts to contemplate. I long to see captives set free in Jesus’ name, for women who’ve only known oppression to feel the warmth of their Father’s love on their radiant faces. I long to see God’s word raise up a generation of powerful voices to speak Truth to broken hearts. More than anything else, I dream of the day Light penetrates the darkness forever.
Perhaps you’ve dreamed this very same dream.
Slavery has been reflected in mankind’s infrastructure ever since the Fall, but the prophet Isaiah’s words rang a freedom bell: I have come to set the captives free. Jesus initiated His ministry here on earth with those same powerful words. Human-trafficking has never been outside His reach.
Lately, I’ve found myself stuck in the waiting. As I strain to see the beautiful dream through the frustration and fear, I question whether I have what it takes to make a difference in this fight. My voice sounds so very small, and some days, this dream seems hopelessly impossible.
In God’s word I discover camaraderie with another dreamer and the hope my souls craves.
Simon’s profession required him to wait. The day Jesus showed up in Simon’s life was a day like every other. He was mending his nets in the early morning light after a long, unsuccessful night out on the water. Jesus told Simon to put the boat back into deep water and let the nets down again. It made absolutely no sense.
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5:5) The number of fish caught that day was so great that the nets began to break. The boat could hardly hold the miracle. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” (Luke 5:10b)
Simon traded his broken nets for a dream.
Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, and he became a student of the rabbi as well as a close friend. Then he denied he even knew the man. Three times Peter failed. When they hung Jesus on the cross, it seemed as if all the disciples’ hopes and dreams died right along with Him.
In his devastation, Peter returned to his fishing boat. Perhaps, he knew the sea would help refresh his memory and repair his broken dream. Out in the fishing boat, years before, he had heard Jesus speak this really big, really bold dream: I will make you fishers of men. Peter needed to remember that the dream belonged to Jesus.
My dream belongs to Jesus, too.
Jesus called to Peter and the crew them from the shore. Not just Rabbi Jesus; risen Jesus. He knew they were waiting for a catch, just like the day He called them to dream with Him. He told the men to let the nets down on the right side of the boat, and they did. They hauled in one hundred fifty-three fish with one net, but this time the net didn’t tear; it was stronger.
If Peter and the others were to go out and capture hearts rather than fish, only one net would do: the gospel net, the only net big enough and strong enough and guaranteed not to ever, ever break. The gospel makes my dream possible.
Like Peter, I’ve tried to make my dream about me, but dreaming in my own strength only breeds doubt and insecurity. Without Jesus’ death and resurrection, we’d all be stuck clinging to our fear, failure, and frustration. But Jesus invites us to dream with hope.
When Jesus said, “I have come to set the captives free,” He meant every word. Whatever God starts, He finishes. He’s invited us to join Him in the work. When we strain to find beauty in broken places, may we remember that hope isn’t a flimsy idea or a fleeting feeling; Hope is a Person. All we need to seek is Jesus.
This dream begins and ends with Jesus.
Author: Kelly Sobieski
Kelly is a story-teller and story-listener who believes that our stories ultimately tell God’s story. Kelly is passionate about shedding light on the crisis of human trafficking through the truth of God’s word. She longs to help ordinary women just like her find their place in this fight. You can connect with Kelly at carriedbylove.com.