Saturday, November 24, 2012

Running from Death



In this dream, I was walking through the corridors of a hospital, as I had a dreaded appointment to get a medical test result. The dim fluorescent lighting, antiseptic smell, and looks of sadness and worry on the faces of people I passed all added to the dark, heavy feeling of oppression. There were no windows to give any sense of time of day or location. Artificially pleasant voices over the loudspeaker, even when announcing “Code Blue” or other disasters, made me feel as if I were stranded and jet-lagged in an international airport. 

I entered the doctor’s office, a small cubicle lit only by an X-ray viewbox covered in chest films. In the corner sat a forlorn woman dressed plainly in black, hunched over, not lifting her eyes from her gnarled hands twisting nervously in her lap. The doctor, a handsome and distinguished man in an expensive tailored suit, offered me a chair, nodded toward the X-rays and began to explain the apparently dismal situation.

The news was not good, he said with a fa├žade of compassion nearly undermining his professional authority. My heart was doomed to failure. But he had the solution to the problem and the cure for the disease, if I would put my trust in him. The answer was inside myself, and he could help unlock it.

What frightened me most was what he did not say. I wondered what would be the cost of his cure, in terms of time, money, pain and suffering.

Suddenly the woman in the corner sat bolt upright with a shudder. “I feel a very cold chill in this room,” she said.

With that I realized that the “doctor” was actually evil and death; that his “cure” was eternal misery and damnation; and that what he was offering was nothing but lies and hatred disguised as truth and good will.

I scrambled to my feet and ran out of the office as fast as I could, not once looking back. I tore through the tangled maze of dark hallways in search of the light, and as I ran faster, the light grew brighter and more intense. A refreshing breeze chased away the stale odor of sickness, and I felt my lungs expanding more fully and my heart beating stronger with every breath.

As I awoke from the dream I was surprised that I was not in a state of panic, as I had been with other dreams in which I was running away from danger. Instead, I was exhilarated, thrilled to be alive and running the race God had set before me.

Since the fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3), every person is born with a terminal heart condition – namely our sin nature. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), and if left to plot its own destiny, it will continually choose sinful thoughts and actions to fulfill lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17; Ephesians 2:3; 1 Peter 2:11; 4:2). This course of action may seem right to us, for we fail to realize that it leads to death and destruction (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25)

But the devil tries to convince us, with his lies cloaked in a thin veneer of truth, to follow our heart. If it feels right, it must be, he reasons. Why should we thwart desires so intense? Why would a kind, loving God not want us to have what we crave, and even what should be rightfully ours, were He not so demanding?  The devil promises everything – knowledge, happiness, fame, fortune, status – but all he delivers is delusion, sorrow, shame, and poverty of spirit – and ultimately death (John 8:44).

The devil’s way is not worth the cost, for what do we stand to profit if we enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25). or try to gain the world and lose our soul? (Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36)

The only Great Physician is Jesus Christ. He is the Healer of our heart (Psalm 147:3), our balm in Gilead (Jeremiah 8:22). He cleanses our dying heart from its sin sickness and lets the blood of His righteousness course through our veins (Romans 3:23-26).

He alone has defeated death and hell (2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14-15), so that we need not fear being separated for long from our loved ones who die in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54-56). He will never forsake us nor leave us (Hebrews 13:5) in the valley of the shadow of death, but He will safely carry us through death to live with Him forever (Psalm 23:4).

The Light of His Word (Psalm 119:105) shows us the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Once we turn from our sin and allow Him to enter our heart through our faith in His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven, He gives us eternal, abundant life (John 3:16; 10:10).

If we keep our eyes fixed on Him (Matthew 14:28-31), and not wandering back to the world of the devil’s temptations (James 4:7; Genesis 13:12-13), He will give us strength, speed and stamina to run the race (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1). Christ will keep our feet on the right path that leads to high and heavenly places (2 Samuel 22:34; Psalm 18:33), by way of spreading His Gospel of peace (Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:15). 

His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).With each detour and setback our faith grows, for He proves Himself to be faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9: 10:13). 

Our hearts can be filled with joy and peace as we follow the course He has planned for us, knowing that as we cross the finish line, a great cloud of witnesses will be cheering us on (Hebrews 12:1). He Himself will wipe the sweat from our brow and every tear from our eyes (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 7:17; 21:4) as He places the victor’s crown on our heads (James 1:12) and says, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  (Matthew 25:21-23)

What a day that will be when we truly realize that Jesus has permanently defeated death and that we no longer need to run away from death, for we have run straight into His waiting arms!

© 2012 Laurie Collett







54 comments:

  1. Today I had a dream, that I had to speak little report at my college - and I couldn't find the room, where I was supposed to do that. I read in one book ages ago, that it is typical dream about our fears, but I don't know now, if it is true interpretation.
    Devil is like roaring lion - naturally, we are under the security of God and His angels, but we also must be very careful.
    Greetings and blessings to You :)

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    1. Amen, Zim -- we must watch carefully not to let the devil devour us. That is why we must put on the whole armor of God each day, starting with the helmet of our salvation.
      May God bless and keep you!
      Laurie

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  2. Laurie - Love how you used your dream as a door to sharing the gospel! It parallels so clearly, the tactics of deception from our enemy...but also the victory & light found in our Savior Jesus Christ! Let us all run (as you did) fast, towards the author, perfecter, & finisher of our faith! Our place of victory! The only place where true healing lies! Bless you this holiday weekend, jen

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    1. Amen, Jen -- may we run to Him on the path He has set for us! Praise God for the victory we have in Him! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  3. I love this post. Very timely in my life and I thank you for that! Can't wait to follow you and see what else our sweet Lord lays on your heart.

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    1. Thank you so much, Beth, for your sweet comment. I'm blessed to hear that this post spoke to your heart.
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  4. Wow! What a dream you have had. A handsome man dressed in the finest of tayloring - here in the UK, this is the very sort of personage held in reverence by the common people. Outer appearences can be so deceptive.
    You ran in the right direction, towards Christ. And so a race is set before us, Paul writes, so let us run that race and set our eyes on the glory that is to come.
    That is a moving blog, thanks for posting. God bless.
    Frank.

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    1. So true, Frank -- Satan masquerades as an angel of light, and false prophets are wolves in sheep's clothing. May we keep our eyes on the prize! Thanks as always for your thoughtful comment, and God bless,
      Laurie

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  5. Love how God helps you to interpret your dreams Laurie. And how the interpretation always leads back to glorify God.

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    1. Thanks, Wendy, for your encouraging comment!
      Blessings to you,
      Laurie

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  6. Laurie,
    I discovered you today at the Beauty in His Grip. I agree, "Our hearts can be filled with joy and peace as we follow the course He has planned for us..." sometimes the journey can be hard, but we are never alone. Amen.
    Peace and good to you.

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    1. Amen, Beloved -- He will never leave us nor forsake us, and He will give us joy and the peace that passes all understanding. Thanks so much for your visit & comment, & God bless!
      Laurie

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  7. Beautiful and uplifting! Another excellent post Laurie. Thanks for sharing and have a good week.

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    1. Thanks so much, Judy, for your sweet comment and for hosting!
      God's blessings to you,
      Laurie

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  8. Hi Laurie,
    yes, so often mankind is fooled by appearance, ignoring all the real beauty and wisdom that waits nearby, until that beauty and wisdom reveals the truth and opens our eyes.

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    1. Amen, Brenda! Too often we follow the lust of the eyes, which distracts us from God's truth, light, and love. Thanks so much for your visit and comment, & God bless!
      Laurie

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  9. Perhaps your dream was also a warning, to not listen to a bad report from someone trusted. Leaving the scene is often the best avenue and to run to the Light of God's word, for there we find truth. The people of Israel listened to the bad report of the 10 spys, but they suffered because they would not accept the good news. Thank you for sharing at Tell me a Story.

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    1. Excellent point, Hazel. Even those we trust to give us Godly counsel are only human and may fail to see things as God sees them. Thanks as always for your thought-provoking comment and for hosting!
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  10. Wow, what a detailed dream. I love dreams where I am running in the right direction. I love real life when I am running in the right direction too.

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    1. Amen, Eileen! May we always be running toward Him!
      Blessings to you,
      Laurie

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  11. Your dream life is so rich! I love how this space is saturated with Gospel truth. So much beauty in the One true Story.

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    1. Thanks, Laura, for your encouraging comment! The Gospel truly is the greatest and the most beautiful Story ever told, and the only One of eternal significance.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  12. Hi Laurie, beautiful post lovely lady. Thank you for linking it to Winsome Wednesday. Someone there needs to read it. This is why I enjoy the bloghops so much. God makes sure His word and encouragement get out to the right people at the right time.
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Tracy! My prayer is that God will use these posts to encourage others with His Word, and I am blessed by the opportunity you provide to post in hopes of reaching others for Him. May God bless you for all you do to spread His Word!
      Laurie

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  13. Your lovely blog always gives me that daily dose of inspiration and builds my faith. Thank you! I love this verse from your post: "His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness." So true, and empowering. We can make it through with God's help :)

    Thanks for linking up at the Super Sunday Sync! Hope to see you this week as well. xo

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    1. Amen, Kera! "His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness" -- this verse is part of our daily prayer for our dance ministry and for life in His perfect will in general!

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment & for hosting!
      Blessings to you,
      Laurie

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  14. Satan tries so hard to make us believe man is able to solve all his troubles if he will just follow his heart or his inner light. Sadly, even many who claim to be Christians fall for that lie.

    Great post.

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    1. Great point, Donald! Satan appeals to man's pride, trying to convince us that we ourselves are our own salvation. Man fails to realize that in our flesh dwells no good thing, and that only Christ in us is our hope of glory. Thanks so much for your comment, & God bless!
      Laurie

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  15. Wow, what amazing imagery! I am so thankful for the rock we have in Christ, the assurance of hope. I terrifies me how pervasive and deceptive the Devil can be, but God is our fortress. Thank you for publishing this beautiful post.

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    1. Thanks so much, withalljoy, for your visit & kind comment! Praise God that He is our Rock and our Fortress, and that our hope is in Him no matter what lies the devil tells us.
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  16. Inspiring,beautiful, and amazing! :-)

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    1. Thanks so much, Carrie! You are a blessing!
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  17. I love how God uses dreams to direct us to Him, and learn the life lessons He so desires to teach us. Dreams aren't only used in Old Testament times, but also today, we must be willing to take time to process and pray about the dreams, in order to learn from God.

    Blessings,

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    1. Amen, Crystal! God speaks to His children primarily through His Word, but I believe He speaks to us in many other ways as well -- through Godly counsel, by letting us hear or read the sermon or blog post most relevant to what He is trying to teach us, through the beauty of His creation, and through dreams. We must pray to be attuned to the Holy Spirit and to heed His voice in whatever ways He speaks to us.
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  18. It's so amazing when we realize that God is the reason we are not afraid, even in dreams.

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    1. So true, bettyl! In Him we need not be afraid, for His perfect love casts out all fear.
      Blessings,
      Laurie

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  19. Hi Laurie,
    You left a comment on my blog so I came over to follow you. I love the name of your blog. We are saved by grace. Isn't it great!!! Where is it you live in Florida. We are buying a house in Lauderdale by the Sea, north of Fort Lauderdale. We close next Wednesday. I will be looking for a new church there. I go to Marilyn Hickey Ministries in Denver. I'm looking for something Evangelical, possibly Charismatic. Do you know anything about that area.
    Have a great weekend.
    Debi

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    1. Hi Debi,
      Praise God that we are saved by grace through faith, and not of works, so that we have nothing to brag about!

      Welcome to this blog and to Florida! We live in Tampa, on the west coast, so I'm not familiar with churches in the Ft. Lauderdale area. It is a lovely area though. Thanks so much for following & for your comment, & God bless!
      Laurie

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  20. Although your dream was initially upsetting it became less stressful when given to our Lord. Even in our dreams his love is with us.thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop.xo

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  21. Amen, Katherine!
    Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
    Thanks for your lovely comment & for hosting, & God bless!
    Laurie

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  22. Awesome symbolism in this dream thanks for sharing...bbe blessed!...Nicole

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    1. Thanks, Nicole, for your sweet comment! Love & peace to you!
      Laurie

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  23. What a creepy dream! You have such a wonderful way with descriptions!

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    1. Thanks, Nicole! It was creepy but at least it had a positive resolution!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  24. Hi Laurie,
    I just wanted to let you know that this post is one of my featured bloggers for tomorrow at Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop. You can see the post at
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com
    Thanks so much for sharing with Adorned From Above.
    Debi

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    1. Hi Debi,
      Wow, I am blessed & honored! Thank you so much for featuring Saved by Grace -- you are a great blessing!
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  25. I love what "Betty" said in a previous comment: "It's so amazing when we realize that God is the reason we are not afraid, even in dreams." Amen!

    Also, enjoyed reading about you in your profile. God Bless!

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    1. Amen that He gives us courage & boldness, for He is our rock & our shelter! Thanks for your kind comment, & God bless!
      Laurie

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  26. The enemy is so slick. I love that you dreamed him distinguished, handsome, knowledgeable: he is.

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    1. So true, Brandee. He masquerades as an angel of light, so that he can deceive many more than by appearing as a roaring lion.
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  27. I love that you shared your dream with us!! The evil one can make himself seem wonderful and fool us so it's very important that our walk with Jesus be straight and that we are so close to God that we don't fall prey to satan's lies. Love this post!

    I hope you are having a lovely week my dear and thank you so much for linking up to last week's Aloha Friday Blog Hop.

    If you have time, we'd love to have you come back and link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop if you haven't already!

    Aloha,

    Jean {What Jean Likes}

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    1. Thanks so much, Jean, for your sweet and insightful comment! Satan is the great deceiver and can masquerade as an angel of light, so we must be certain to know and follow only our Savior's voice.
      Thanks also for hosting & for the invite! I'll plan to be back regularly for the linkup!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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