A few months ago I had a dream, which over a period of time and particularly in these last few weeks has revealed to carry tremendous significance in my journey of faith and that of my family too. This is how I recorded it on my dream journal:
“There is a lot happening. I can’t remember exactly what, but suddenly, I take myself off from the chaos, and I fly off to a different place, a green landscape where there are lots of individuals scattered all over with their hands raised up to the Heavens as they praise God. I look at them in amazement, particularly a lady who is standing there right next to me.
Suddenly, I feel this powerful awe-inspiring presence near me and I start to feel frightened. This faceless being grabs me firmly by the arms, as a Father who is about to give a serious piece of advice to his child would, and as it calls me by name, it says:
May the Lord be with you,
My ways are your ways.
I remember around the time of the dream feeling an amazing sense of peace, as I had connected in such a marvellous and personal way with God’s presence and guidance. I remember feeling incredibly overwhelmed and uplifted by the Spirit of the Lord addressing me by name; by the fact that God knows each and everyone of us so intimately; by the honour to have the angel of the Lord speak to me in a dream, and make the following verses come to life and take firm root in my heart:
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered – Luke 12:7
Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord
You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
When I was made in the secret place
When I was woven together in the depths on the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
Were written in your book
Before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139, 13-16
My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. Jeremiah 16:17
I also remember not really fully understanding the meaning of this dream and wondering whether it would all become clear at a later stage in my life. But what really stuck in my mind was the fact that I could not remember for sure whether the initial words said by the angel of the Lord in my dream were: “May the Lord be with you” or “The Lord be with you”. There is much difference semantically between one and the other. The former carries an undeniable sense of forewarning, compassion and a sense of danger ahead, whilst the latter comes across more as a mere greeting, matter of fact and not so charged with the uncertainty of what is yet unknown to me. I remember desperately trying to convince myself that what I heard was “The Lord be with you” but having the nagging feeling at the back of my mind that in fact it was: “May the Lord be with you”.
Of course the meaning of the second part of what I heard the angel of the Lord say to me in the dream invariably changes according to what was said in the greeting. I kept pondering: does “my ways are your ways” mean I am on the right path and my attitudes, heart and spirit are in line with God’s will for my life or by contrast, does the meaning to those words carry a strong prophetic weight of where and how I am meant to conduct myself, if I am going to be genuine about following the Lord Jesus Christ? The former points to the fact that all is well, the latter points to the fact that much is going to have to change, if I am to continue to call myself a Christian.
I am sure many of you who are reading this are wondering whether I have lost the plot or you may marble at how productive someone’s imagination can be, but when you read the accounts in the bible of those whose guidance from God came via dreams, and when you witness fellow Christian brothers and sisters whose life trajectory has also been marked by poignant dreams which in hindsight have made a great deal of sense in their own personal circumstances and journeys, the fear of being considered delusional or out of your mind by those who know you or those who don’t, does not even get a look in, as you experience for yourself the wonder of how powerful the Spirit of God really is. God created the universe. Is it then so delusional to believe that he could make contact and instruct men through their dreams? Think about it, whilst we are asleep we do not have the ability to reject or ignore what is placed in our consciousness. With some of us, that is what it takes to be still before God. We are never still before Him long enough when we are awake to hear what he has to say, so inevitably, He will speak to us through dreams. But it goes deeper than that. Although I have had many dreams where I felt God was communicating something to me about myself, my life or that of my church, even about other people, I can say that there are only two dreams which I know have an enormous significance to the purpose that God has for me, and this particular dream I am telling you about, is one of those two. This was not just any dream that you wake up from and is forgotten about. This was an experience which left me trembling with the fear of the Lord, and at the same time although desperately tired, left me fighting to be awake so that I could re-live the amazing thing that I had just experienced. When you have a dream like that, something is added to your life. You are not the same person afterwards. A new piece of the jigsaw that represents the mystery that surrounds God has been freely given and must be cherished and nurtured forever.
And so weeks and months passed since this dream and many times since then, I have felt greatly challenged during my prayer and meditation times by the scripture in Isaiah 55: 9
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are my ways higher than your ways,
And my thoughts than your thoughts
I could not understand why the spirit of the Lord would give me something which differed from God’s word in the Bible. All Christians know that when that happens whether to oneself or coming from another Christian, warning lights must start flashing. However, much has happened in the last 6 weeks of my life to help me understand that what I was told in that dream not only did not contradict what the word of God says, but it enhanced it and filled it with an eternal dimension and perspective. Let me explain myself.
My husband and I have been “to hell and back” (this expression has acquired a new dimension in our minds) in these past few weeks, as we have been travelling through a deep, deep valley of very challenging and trying circumstances. I am unable to disclose at present the nature of such circumstances. I can only share the fact that few things in life have been as close to breaking us as this has. When I say break us, I mean kill, steal and destroy the joy within, the hope that lies in us, and throw us off course from the wonderful purpose for which we were created. All certainty about the future, all plans and confidence have been with the flick of a switch swept away from under us and there is not one thing that we can do about it.
To be continued in the next post