Hurt Road: A 7-Day Devotional By Third Day Guitarist Mark Lee

Day 4 of 7 • This day’s reading


The Big Picture

When we only dream for ourselves, our dreams often end up being small and selfish. Dreams work best when they’re part of God’s big picture. And I’m thankful that God’s dream for us is usually bigger than what we dream for ourselves. The happily ever after we dream for ourselves is narrow and one-dimensional. The road God takes us on often involves unforeseen twists and turns, but we always end up in a place that’s thrilling and unexpected. Even the turns that feel like dead ends at the time—God can use those as well. 

If you had asked me anytime from about 1991 to 1995 what my dream was, it went something like this: Third Day would leave Atlanta, loading up in a little van and pulling all our gear in a trailer. We’d drive for fifteen hours and do a show somewhere far away like upstate New York, performing for maybe a hundred people. We might do two shows while we were out, maybe three. Then we would turn around and drive all the way back home. We would do this full-time. I thought this was the coolest idea in the world. This is what I wanted to do. That was my end-all, be-all dream for my life. My happily ever after. 

By the middle of 1995 we were a full-time touring band. By my 1991 standards, we had made it. But God had bigger plans for Third Day. We did do the van thing for a while, but by late 1996 we were traveling in a bus on our own headlining tour. In 1999 we released the album Time. The first track on that record, “I’ve Always Loved You,” got significant radio airplay. We decided to follow up Time with the Offerings album, which has ended up being our biggest album to date. By 2001, our ten-year “overnight success story” was pretty much complete. 

When you dream small and reach those goals, you get restless. The road looks straight, like it will always be the same. But fortunately God sees around the curves in the road. It’s a good thing his dreams for us are far bigger than what we can even imagine.


When has God’s dream for your life been even bigger than the dreams you’ve had for yourself? How might his dreams for you be bigger today than you can imagine?