Brighter Day

I had this horrible dream where a girl who was anorexic was in a public restroom and she fell on the ground because she was so sick. I tried to go get her help. She grabbed my leg and basically told me she’d let me go if I promised her I wouldn’t go call help for her. I lied to her and pulled away and lost one of my shoes in her grasp in the process. I knew I had to get out of there and away from her.

I woke up feeling a lot of negativity. Almost an evil feeling about the dream. I used to get those dreams before and they made me feel so scared and powerless. I would be awake for hours. But I learned from someone years ago to play my gospel music as an offensive move if I feel that kind of darkness around me.

So I started singing first. Then I went and played some songs as they came to mind. Some oldies that I used to jam all the time. Hadn’t listened to them in awhile. Lyrics maybe more applicable now than then. Always our good God providing comfort whenever we need Him. It only took a little while for the peace and joy to wipe out the darkness. Some thoughts in the process:

I think the anorexic girl in the dream represents the old me that is dying. The old me that was spiritually starved. Subsisting on a scarcity mentality in regards to God and life. And the new me is not going to sit down and die. The new me is getting stronger than the old me. The new me isn’t striving to prove herself. The new me is confident in God’s love. And the new me was able to do whatever it took to get up and run away from that old way that was trying to keep me down and away from freedom and victory.

Which brings me to the second picture. I was reminded of the man at the pool of Bethesda. My same age. Been sitting in his sickness for all these years. Waiting for deliverance. And Jesus comes by and tells him to get up and walk. I felt like the message for me was: get up and walk. What are you doing here? You are already healed. The healing is already in you because you are in Him and He is in you.

I feel like this man is a picture of all the people waiting for God to do something and He is like, “It’s already done.” Before the cross. Before the cross? Maybe again the cross was just the sign some needed when all along they were free?

Maybe that’s why Jesus tells him to go and sin no more? In other words, if you don’t accept the freedom you have then you are going to find yourself back down on the ground rolling around with the sickness of others like in times past. If you want that life. If you really want to go back there.

If we want to keep going around the desert outside of the Promised Land, then we are welcome to do that. He’ll find us down that road also. Always inviting us back.

The man said he was healed. Maybe the miracle in a sense is that Jesus didn’t do anything to the man. He just told him to get up. Do we need to hear Jesus telling us it’s ok and that we can get up? There isn’t a rule list to keep to make Him happy. He always has and always will love us just the same. He’ll keep inviting us to the party. Will we get up and join Him?

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Turnaround

I was thinking today about how the Israelites went through so many trials as they prepared to leave Egypt and then again as they were approaching The Promised Land. They saw God act on their behalf over and over and over. And yet right as they reached the finished line, in that last mile, they gave up on Him and never were able to enjoy the gift prepared in advance for them.

As easy as it is to talk down on them from a distance, I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point.

My heart goes out to them. Born in captivity. Only knowing captivity. They probably couldn’t imagine a Promised Land. Less suffering, yes. But not full freedom, the all you can eat buffet God prepared for them.

How many of us have sold ourselves short like that? Have so greatly underestimated God and His love for us? Will we run so hard the entire race just to give up on God right before the finish line? Will we forget all He has done for us? All He has carried us through? After everything we’ve seen and experienced of Him, will we decide that He can’t really be that good?

He doesn’t bring us out into the desert to die. Maybe the desert was more of a hard reset that they needed to get the Egypt out of them. To be prepared for their new life. Sometimes an end is just a setup for a new beginning. Sometimes we need things removed from us that we don’t feel like we can let go of. Will we trust God when He asks us to put it all in His hands? Will we trust He wants only the best for all?

Morning follows the darkest nights.

I give up on my own strength, my own understanding, my own faith and belief, my own resources. But I don’t want to give up on Him. Whether and how He will work things out, I don’t know. But I know He can.

Even if there is still more rain. Even if the only other relief is on the other side of this great adventure, His great love for us remains! I’ll understand everything later. But in the meantime, I say choose hope.

Surrounded

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?’ the servant asked.

“‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.

And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.‘”

He doesn’t bring us out into the desert to die! You are NOT abandoned! Ask God what He thinks of your situation. Versus trying to figure it out on your own. You need His peace that passes all understanding. Versus the words of a thousand well-meaning people. Don’t look at the waves. Look at The One who walks on all waters.

You are not alone! No, you are LOVED! To the ends of the earth. Around the galaxy and back. Over and over. Ask for Him to help you see. To help you see Him, yourself, and your place in Him. In His heart.

Your strength is not needed. Perfect love casts out fear. Rest. Be still; He is God. Your God. The same God of old. His love never fails. Ask Him to help you see.

2 Chronicles 20. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. You will not need to fight. “when they began to sing…”