Shh . . . I’m dreaming
I have had lots of God-given dreams, and other dreams of personal significance. From the titles of two of my books—half of what I’ve written! (Laughing in My Dreams and Dancing in My Dreams)—it’s obvious that dreams and dreaming has played a part in my life. And dreams are one way that God speaks to us:
For God does speak—now one way, now another—though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn them from wrongdoing and keep them from pride, to preserve them from the pit, their lives from perishing by the sword (Job 33:14-18).
But of course, not every dream is a God dream. Those other dreams can be useful in helping you to understand how you’re feeling about certain things in your life. For example, when I was a new mother being woken every two hours to nurse my baby, I had a dream that I was trying to vacuum the house and I had half a dozen little kids hanging onto my legs and pulling on my shirt. I was feeling overwhelmed, and the dream helped me to understand that so that I could look for help to do all the things I needed to do.
Have you ever had an interesting dream, and you wanted to remember and understand the dream, but it faded away too quickly? Of course, that happens to all of us. You’re too sleepy to get up and search for a pen and paper, and then if you do, the dream is mostly gone (if not altogether forgotten) by the time you do. I believe that we all dream, though many people say that they never dream. I have heard that if you keep a pen and paper handy, and write your dreams down, you will become better at remembering your dreams. So I decided to give it a try.
Actually, what I did was get a regular diary, and start recording the daily personal words that God was giving me (which I wrote about in yesterday’s post Devotional Journal). Since the dates in the diary start about a month before I bought it, I began writing my dreams on those blank pages. [That’s why the picture of the page (in my recent post Swedish Fish and the Nice Young Man) where I wrote my dream of November 4, says August 23 (in Italian).]
The dream mentioned above was a Rapture dream because it had a nice young man holding the door open for me, and as soon as I woke up, I knew that He was Jesus. And in the continuation of that dream, we were in a car, going around and picking up all the other people who had sprouted like us. I’ve had a lot of Rapture dreams lately. But in looking through my dream diary I was caught by this one:
I only remember that someone had stepped on a thorn and it was very painful. They were asked to rate the pain on a scale like in the doctor’s office. I don’t remember the rating, but it was high-end.
I had thought that this dream had to do with the divorce and the possibility of running into my ex or one of his family here in Texas because I had driven through his last known location just that day. But in light of recent events (see Kicked When I was Down), I think it may have been a prophetic dream, speaking about the events that would happen a week later, when I was passive-aggressively thrown out of Barbara and Leo’s house. That was very painful, and more so because of the way that they did it.
I don’t want to keep going over and over and over this thing. But honestly, how do I handle family get-togethers? I have always believed in forgiving people as quickly as you can, but never allow them the opportunity to hurt you again. Am I wrong about that?
Well, in today’s devotional, I believe that God is telling me that in this case, I am wrong. Love demands that we make ourselves vulnerable. My flesh is screaming NOOOOOOOO!!!!! But I’ve got to crucify the flesh, take up my cross, and follow Jesus. Two days ago, the Lord gave me 1 Samuel 7:12-13:
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines.
Then yesterday: “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity,” (Jonah 4:2).
Then today: “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” (Psalm 18:31). I feel like with these three passages the Lord is telling me to forgive, let myself be vulnerable again, and show all those involved what grace really looks like. And God will be my Rock, my Stone of Help through this. Oh, God! It’s hard! I have never told my side (not to them), and God is telling me not to run away from the pain when all my flesh screams for me to run away and never look back. But this is a path I’ve got to walk, and I can do it only through the help of my Rock.
God is good! Even with all of life’s thorns, God is good!