I had troubling dreams last night. The dreams were not induced by late-night spicy Mexican food or dark chocolate no- flour truffle cake. I can’t blame an over-active imagination brought about by Summer-thriller movies as I have not seen any movies or watched any television…or even read any novels for quite a while. I would not go say far as to say that my dream was inspired…but I will say that when I woke up this morning I remembered the basic “scenes” of the dreams and the feeling the dreams evoked or invoked (either word works here).
And then immediately past the recollection of the dreams (understanding that I never remember my dreams), I had a completely and seemingly unrelated thought come to my mind…and just as quickly as the thought came, I thought to myself, “I need to write this down. And I need to write it this morning (after I take out the dogs!) or I will forget. Don’t forget, Christy. Don’t forget to write this.”
Let’s start at scene one.
I am inside of a large, fancy residence with a large atrium, high ceilings, a wall of glass windows looking out over a beautiful valley below. The atmosphere was festive. People could have been gathered for a wedding…or perhaps the host and hostess were just wealthy and loved to have people over. Small groups were sharing small-talk with smiles on their faces and glasses of wine in their hands. I don’t remember anyone specifically that I know being present, other than me. I don’t remember any particular faces. But the people were all about my age…dressed nicely…women in summer cocktail dresses and men in lightweight suits or dress shirts and ties.
I imagine that it could have been a scene from a mountain “house” in California.
And the reason that I think that it probably was California is due to the whispered announcement passing through the crowd. A potentially very destructive earthquake was expected imminently. The report was that, “It was going to happen. And it was not going to be a small tremble”.It was going to massive. Higher on the Richter Scale than any others ever seen.
People continued to talk. Some people seemed concerned or flustered. Some people gathered their things to go. Their trip back down the valley would be long and winding. Some people stayed and continued smiling and sipping although the conversation had now turned to the possibility that there was going to be any earthquake…and discussion about other earthquakes…and how sometimes predictions were wrong…and how most people had experienced one or more and there had been no real harm done.
And I started looking at where I was. I am not terribly observant so I didn’t take in the details of the setting until I started thinking, “What should I do?”
Driving down the mountain was out. Continuing with small-talk was out.
I was standing in a tall glass building built into the side of a mountain.
My instincts…that could have been completely wrong because I have never been in an earthquake and I have never read any information about what to do in an earthquake emergency…my instincts told me to get out of the building and go up to the top of the mountain.
Staying inside I could see one possibility only – the potential of being crushed by falling ceilings or falling chandeliers or cut to shreds by a wall of glass windows falling and shattering on and ricocheting off the floor.
I went outside on to the deck that hung out and over the cliff below. Looking down, I could see the narrow winding road and the potential of being crushed by the houses and cars and boulders that would be shaken loose from their already very precarious perches… heavy and deadly objects that would roll or slide down the side of the mountain and cover up anything it encountered…buried in rubble was not an option.
So, I looked up. But up was a rock face…not a gradual incline. Up was close to parallel, only slightly less that straight up and down…layers or rocks mixed with sparse vegetation. A trek up the mountain, even though the house was near the top, would be treacherous if not impossible.
But the boldest climber could do it. I have seen crazy professionals with no harness climb inverted rock mountains.
I could do it, if I really needed to do it. I knew that I could. But I had to decide very quickly if I was going to believe what we had been told. Was destruction coming? Was it going to be as bad as the predictions said? What if I headed up that mountain and nothing happened? What if I died trying to get up that mountain… and no earthquake actually happened?
I really didn’t care that I might look like an idiot for tucking up my skirt and taking off my sandals and starting to climb.
If destruction came… and everyone in the house was wiped away…what anyone thought of me would be a moot point
Scene two. I am in a semi-dark enclosure. It is large…like a side-ways cylinder but I don’t know where it begins or where it ends. The ceiling and walls and floors are rounded together. It could be a bunker, but I know that it is made to move. This is a vehicle that is supposed to move through the ground… and briefly at times, over the ground. I also know that the way or the path or the road is still under construction. In some areas it has fallen in completely. This is not a train. There are no tracks. I don’t know what propels us, but it has no tires or smell or sound. But it is necessary for us to travel.
Inside the tallest part of the ceiling is at least 20 feet tall and the span across from side to side is just as wide. As I don’t know what we are propelled by…I also don’t know why we have stopped. What I do know is that something terrible has happened. People are dead. I see my oldest son and a group of his friends gathered together and one of the boys is completely burned from head to toe. He is a cinder person lying at their feet. The friends are in shock. I am in shock.
Yesterday I read the following verses from Psalm 91:
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Does this always seem true? Do we feel like we are safe and protected by God? Does the reality that we see in our own lives and in the lives and tragedies of others “jibe” with this verse? Can I trust God to mean what he says when this promise does not seem to apply to so many of us in the world?
Nancy Guthrie answers these questions so beautifully when she says, “God is much more interested in the life of your soul than the life of your body. Your earthly body is going to die. Your eternal soul is going to live forever. God’s ability to protect your soul eternally from judgement and death is more significant than his ability to protect your body from disease or attack or death…we try to apply his promises for the protection of our souls to our bodies, and we’re left disappointed.
“Those of us who hide ourselves in Christ are protected for eternity…”
So this is where the dreams and the seemingly unrelated first waking thought mesh together:
First, what were my “take-away’s” from the dreams?
Unpleasant things are too inconvenient to think about…or do anything about…even if involves our life. If we don’t heed the prophecies as well as the promises, then we really are “Dust in the wind”.
We are made for more that fancy houses and fine clothing and small-talk.
The first scene switched before I found out what happened. I would like to know if when I was making my “get-away” plan to climb to the top of the mountain to avoid destruction… if I left alone…or did I shout out for everyone in the room to hear what I was planning to do? Did I explain to them my “thought process” and why I was going to go? Do I invite them to come too.
I am called to speak…but I can’t make anyone hear or listen or understand.
I hope that I would have tried. I like to think that I would have… that I would have been persuasive. And regardless if calamity actually came that day, that people changed because they considered that even if it was not that day, there will be a day when we must account for our time here. What did we do with it…?
The second dream was futuristic…maybe even post-apocalyptic. We were trying to find shelter and safety. But we weren’t safe…at least not our mortal bodies.
We all die. It is a matter of when. And how.
And then what?
Let me tell you …it depends on what you believe.
Jesus was not is not and never will be a prophet. Unlike the prophets of the past…and prophets today…Jesus fulfilled and is fulfilling the prophecies of God.
Jesus is not a man of God that was given visitations by angels or dreams or revelation. Jesus IS God. He told us about His Father and about the Holy Spirit Jesus, the Father and The Holy Spirit work together and have always worked together since the Beginning. I won’t say “the beginning of time” because time is irrelevant to God.
Jesus’ life and healings and preaching and teaching are recorded “history”…just as the thousands of years of “history” before him that all point to Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ…the Messiah…the Savior of the World.
The other prophets were vessels or tools or mouth-pieces used by God for specific purposes to relay information to certain people at certain times…or to announce that there is only God and no other gods…or to fore-tell the coming of the Christ…Messiah…the Savior of the World. Jesus.
Jesus says that if you know him then you know the Father. Jesus did all things with the authority of God… everything that he said… every time that he spoke! Every time he taught or prayed or healed. Jesus was beholden to no man, because he was so much more than any other man. Jesus was God in a body!
And the message that God brought to the world through Jesus was a message for ALL people for ALL times. Believe. Jesus life of ministry from his Baptism by John the Baptist…to his temptation by the devil in the wilderness… to his death and resurrection…to his appearance and commissioning of his disciples (and that includes YOU and ME) to go and spread the good news to all the world…to his conversion of the hateful Christian-hater Saul into the most prolific Jesus preacher ever, Paul…
Most people of any religion or “faith” and even “unbelievers” do not doubt Jesus’ existence.
We don’t doubt that their could be a catastrophic earthquake …
Or serious illness
or car wrecks
or death of loved ones
or loss of a jobs
Jesus is not just a historical figure from the past that showed us how to be and told us to be good people. Jesus showed us who God is. And He is not a comforter in the moment. He is not just there for the “Peace that Passes all understanding” during a trying time.
Knowing Jesus is crucial to know who God is…and if we don’t know who God is then we don’t have a relationship with God…and ultimately that means that you don’t really know yourself… You are definitely not everything that you could be. We are beautiful and powerful. We are lion slayers and demon banish-ers. We are healers of hearts and hurts and lives…but only with God’s help.
We are made for more. More than the pains and the pleasures of this life. We are heirs of God’s Kingdom with Jesus. We are a team. The Three Head Coaches have chosen us for their team…and they want us to become skilled and not just sit on the bench (pew or couch or bar stool). They need for us to contribute. We have been given some talent…what will we do with it? Squander it or maximize it?
I am shouting to you. Come with me to the mountain-top. It is far better up there than anyplace else we can be. We can see from up there. the noise and distractions are far below. Know that the day will come when we are confronted with the question, “What did you choose? Did you believe the prophecies? Did you trust in My promises? Were you too comfortable in your life to hope for or need anything more? Were you too uncomfortable or hopeless to believe that I could have helped you in your time of suffering? Did you not believe that your time on earth and in your bodies is such a tiny amount of time when you consider that your soul is eternal?”
“Do you want to be with Me eternally? Do you want for everyone else to know that there is More after this is done?”
I do, Lord. I do.