Posted by Gabe Brennan

Are you still dreaming?

We all know what it is like to be abruptly woken up from a dream.  Sometimes, it’s a good thing. Sometimes you wish you hadn’t been.  A few days ago, our oldest boy woke up in the morning, saying, “Mommy, my dream died.” He had been enjoying some pleasant experience (probably flying in the sky like an eagle) only to be plummeted back to earth when his little brother turned the light on in the room.  He spent several minutes a bit disoriented and disappointed with this sudden turn of events.  To go from dreaming to wakefulness is not always an easy transition for little boys or for grown ups.

Following Jesus will also involve the occasional bursting of our dreamy bubble. And that is a good thing.  We all feel the natural pull to form the world into our image, to put people into a box, to expect certain things to happen at certain times and in certain ways. This is essentially treating life like a game of dominoes to be set up where we want the pieces to be. Then something happens that we don’t expect. The dominoes don’t fall over. Life happens. And we are reminded that life is is not something to be controlled or manipulated. It is something we are brought into.  Dreams are fine but dreams can’t compete with real life.  When the light goes on, the dream is over.

So what do we do when life overtakes the dream, when God throws us what seems to be a curve ball when we were expecting a change-up or slider? Most importantly, we don’t panic.  Let me rephrase that…..We don’t need to panic (even though we think we should).  Instead, we embrace the gritty reality of waking up from a dream and then step into the light of the sun.

These interruptions have happened to all those who live in the light of God’s presence.  Job’s dream died after each wave of bad news that struck His heart (Job 1).  David’s lofty (and dangerous) dream of being above sin and repentance was burst with a story of a poor man and lamb (II Samuel 12).  Peter’s dream of world domination died in the shadow of His King slumped over in a heap of death (John 18).  Dreams are inherent to all of us. But all of them will be tested, interrupted and often overwhelmed by a real encounter with God.

And there is simply no way to prepare for this invasion of light.  It may even feel like we are being ambushed, attacked, swept away, knocked off our foundation. But this is not the case. Our good Father will on occasion drastically interrupt our plans, cause us to seriously doubt ourselves, rattle our confidence and then draw us into His arms like a child waking up from a terrible dream.

Paul says in II Corinthians 1 that feeling the sentence of death is meant to make us rely not our ourselves but on God Who raises the dead.  Is that okay? Is that normal? Should a child of the King ever feel the sentence of death, as though the world as we have always known it is falling to pieces? Apparently, yes. And this bursting of the bubble, this shattering of the glass house is not outside God’s good plan but part of it.

When our reasons to feel confident are stripped away, the Lord promises to be our Confidence and to keep our feet from being caught (Proverbs 3:26).  It is one thing to be confident in something. It is quite another thing to be confident in Someone.  And this is what God is after when the bubbles burst and the season of testing begins.  Faith is stretched, ripped, torn and rebuilt like a muscle and all the while He is filling up our heart with real hope.

So if you are in a winter of bubble bursting, it’s okay! All that God does is always for our good and never for our harm.  He is going down deep, cutting any root attached to anything or anyone but Him.  He is launching us into the real world of life in Him and it’s better than any dream we can imagine. So “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,” as Colossians 3 says. And don’t dream so small. Dream big! Think big because we ride on the shoulders of a big God Who is taking us to heights un-imaginable.

Gladly trusting our good Father of lights in whom there are no shadows,

Pastor Gabe

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