Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Dreams of Jesus
When I was a little girl, my mom would push my hair back with the palm of her hand and pray over my dreams. "Father, give Joy good dreams," she would say. "Dreams of Jesus."
I don't remember very many dreams of Jesus Himself, but most of my dreams were fun and colorful; I feel fortunate that I escaped childhood nightmares. What I have suffered most of my life have been pre-sleep nightmares. I've had them off and on ever since I was about 12 years old.
My pre-sleep nightmares occur when I get into bed and close my eyes. An image will come to my head - sometimes from a movie, other times from an article or book, and sometimes just from the recesses of my brain (those are the scariest). The image is of someone doing something terrible and atrocious and painful to me or someone I love. Usually I am in another country, and it is tied up in missionary work.
I don't really trust God to keep me safe. Pete said, "I'm trusting that God will take care of us in whatever way that He sees fit." I said, "I don't really know what that means." Sees fit? I trust someone if I think that he will take care of me and protect me to the best of his ability. God has the ability to keep me and my family safe, but the truth is, He may or He may not. And He hasn't promised to keep me safe; in fact, he promises that there will be hardships.
Right now, I care about my body and my emotions and my life more than I desire to glorify God. If bringing God glory required me to be abused or tortured, I'm not sure that it would be worth it to me. I would wish that I had stayed home.
But I'm going because I don't want that to be the case. I want to somehow see outside of myself; I want big picture vision. I want faith. I want to trust. Maybe I'll never trust that God will keep me safe, but I want to trust it's really worth it. I want to trust that I have a strength available to me that isn't my own.
I think that my dreams have been very much protected my whole life. I don't fear sleeping. These images that I allow myself to fall asleep to... I have control over that. I can take control over that. I can fight them, change them, refuse them.
I want to get into bed and have good pre-sleep dreams. I want to fall asleep to visions of Jesus.