A Meaningful Dream
I pay attention to dreams.
I think I should. “For God does speak—now one way, now another—though man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, He may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride.” Job 33:14-17 (NIV)
Now, I don’t want to create a wrong impression. I’m not talking about having mystical or extra-biblical revelations here, and God forbid that I would even appear to endorse some Freudian psychobabbling dream interpretation theory. I just mean this—by paying attention to what comes out in my dreams, I often get some insight into what is really going on in my own heart and mind at some subconscious level.
For example, I once dreamt that I got into a fight with my son. Not a disagreement, a physical fight. I woke up literally sick to my stomach. I became keenly aware that though I thought I had forgiven my son for some past wrongs, in truth I was still harboring resentment, and that this bitterness was active enough within me to start forcing its way into my dreams. I needed to truly forgive, and I needed to repent of and receive forgiveness for my anger.
That said, I had a dream last night. I was wandering through an unfamiliar field. It was beginning to get dark and I had the sensation of being lost. As I moved through the field, the ground beneath me got spongy. I looked down to discover that I was moving from solid ground into a marsh. I had a moment of realization: “This could be trouble.” So I did what I instinctively do in such situations. I calmed myself so that I could make good decisions instead of panicked ones. I wanted to reason my way out of the mess I was in.
That was when something very profound and wonderful struck me. As I was thinking through this problem, the voice inside my head was not my voice. It was my father’s voice. I was going to get out of this jam. Dad’s wisdom would guide me. I had this childlike sense of security, an awareness that everything was going to be OK, because Dad could talk me through this.
Then I woke up.
And I was still completely serene. More than serene, really. I was filled with quiet joy.
I think there were two reasons for that reaction.
First, I knew that even on a subconscious level, things with my Dad were good.
Second, I felt sure that this was a parable, or a metaphor, something speaking a deeper truth:
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16 (NIV)
Father, who am I, that You should speak to me, or care for me, or visit me? Thank You for loving me with an everlasting love. Thank You for stooping to hear me when I call. Give me gratitude and humility equal to the peace You have poured out on me.