July 31, 2010

Another Restless Night

We had storms overnight, and I woke up about 1:00 a.m. to the sound of something clanging the side of the house. I got David to go check it out, but he said it was nothing. Lightning was coming up from the Southwest, but no thunder. Finally, I heard the rain come down. It must have rained fairly steadily -- a nice soft rain -- because it seemed like it was raining all night long.

I left the boys in the bedroom for a time, until Poohster refused to stop getting at the window. I think he was swatting at the rain drops, but at 4-4:30, I just didn't really care that much. Out he went, with little Ike following. He cried at the door for a short while, and then I fell back asleep until 7:30.

Now that I am awake, having my second cup of coffee, and having reflected on my long dream; I think I have a better understanding of the dream from two nights ago and the one last night. As I mentioned before, I am a dreamer. I laugh because at our church, we are teaching a series on Joseph (OT) and one of the things his brothers accused him of is being a "dreamer." I guess I am in good company, eh? As a person who dreams vividly, some of my dreams are simply bits and pieces of imaginary fluff, you know, thoughts and images from the day or conversations passed between friends. Just junk, as I like to call it, too much junk in the ol' buffer. Random stuff, stuff that makes no sense, and just seems to collect together in a odd sort of puzzle. It is like your mind has these left over items, and it is trying to organize and store them. They just are random, so your mind attempts to fit them together, to make a logical looking scene or picture. But, they don't go together at all. They are just left-over junk. The buffer of your mind is overloaded with images and senses and it needs a good cache clearing.

Then sometimes I have dreams that are very linear, in story-like fashion. They rarely start, and mostly (like the movie "Inception") I find myself somewhere in the middle. They follow a path or progression and then end abruptly when I wake up (in the movie, they call it the "kick" where you are jolted out of sleep and back into reality). Yes, I dream like this often.

In my dream last night, I saw myself helping people. I saw children, adults, and families who were having personal, physical, and spiritual difficulties. I was helping them through my presence (relationship with them) as well as my words of encouragment. Clearly my dream was about ministry and my desire to help others who are lost or seeking God. I also saw my son, who often is part of my dreams. I am sure this is because of our relationship with one another, but it also makes me wonder if at some point he will be with me in ministry. He desires ministry as well, so it seems logical that this might be the case. I also saw myself being accused of things that were not rightly true, and I took this simply as the truth of the Word -- we will suffer persecution in our work. Just as Jesus was hated, so shall we be hated. It is written in the Word, and it bears itself true every single day on this planet.

In short, I think the two sets of dreams (last night I had one only; the previous night, two) were helping me deal with the reality of my life, the truth that the path I am on (serving the Lord) will be difficult and at times I will be persecuted. Yet, I will prevail, and I will do His work (ministry) to help people find salvation through Jesus Christ. I am not concerned about the persecution, even though what I have suffered so far has been minimal. I am deeply devoted to the knowledge and understanding and comfort of Christ's word to Paul: "My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9 KJV) I have experienced God's Grace and know that it is indeed sufficient to cover me, to carry me, and to support me through any trial or tribulation I may endure.

I guess in all of this, I come away with one thought: I am all the more convinced that the path that I am on is THE RIGHT PATH. I have questioned this path many times before, always asking the Lord, "Are you sure? Am I doing the right thing?" I now know that I am doing the RIGHT thing, and that I have received His call for ministry. I have received it, I acknowledged it, and I have accepted it -- all of it, the good, the bad, and the difficult. I know what I must do, where I must go, and how I must prepare for it. I have time, and between now and then, I know what I must do today (and tomorrow -- until He provides a way for me to go where He is sending me). Until then, I do what I must, live where I must, and work as I must -- all unto Him and all for His Glory.

Thank you, Lord, for helping me to see that my gifting (spiritually speaking) is to be used for the ministry of your people and to reach those that are lost. Thank you for letting me see that my gifts and my natural abilities are working together to touch people's lives and that I can make a difference. I can help people, encourage them, and support them -- pointing them toward You and a life of blessing and peace. May your Word continue to enrich my life, and may it go forth from my mouth as an encouragement to those who so desparately need to hear it. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen. So be it. Thy will be done.

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