|Photo by Nevil Dimins 2005|
Saturday, February 21, 2015
In this dream I am at a dance audition held in a studio at the beach. As I watch the choreographed combination each of us will have to perform for the judges, I feel confident that I will be able to dance the steps with ease and grace. But when it is my turn to take the floor, I can barely move and I almost fall over because I am wearing a bulky winter jacket and coat and heavy street shoes.
I ask the director if I can remove these, and she says yes, but that I’ll have to leave them outside on the beach because there is no room in the studio.
When I reach the sand dunes and hear the pounding surf, I am reluctant to set my extra clothes and shoes down on the beach, wondering if they’ll be safe. Will they wash away, or will someone take them? But finally I remove my winter gear, and I feel a great sense of freedom as the waves lap at my feet and the ocean breeze ruffles my hair.
As I look out at the waves, I am thrilled to see three dolphins swim by, parallel to the shore. I glimpse the first leaping from the water then diving back in, just long enough for me to appreciate his beauty and vitality. The second is invisible, not emerging from the sea, but I can tell from currents on the water’s surface that he is there.
The third dolphin is a fantastical creature, much larger and more powerful than the first. As he flies out of the ocean and hovers over the waves, I can see his elaborately developed and ornate fins gleaming on his silvery body. One brilliant gold, fan-shaped fin on his back is like that of a sailfish; several fins crown his head; and a long sword-like bill protruding from his mouth resembles that of a swordfish.
This vision of the dolphins fills me to overflowing with unspeakable joy. With no fear I leave my excess garments on the beach and run off to tell the others what I have seen. But back in the studio, everyone is preoccupied with the audition and no one listens to me. Some clearly just don’t care; some politely brush me off; and a few are rude and even hostile as they order me out. So I leave, with great sadness that no one would be able to see the majestic dolphins or to experience the joy they brought me.
As I awaken, I think of the burdens, sins and weights that encumber me as I try in my own strength to run the race He has set before me (Hebrews 12:1; 1 Corinthians 9:24). Why do I so foolishly cling to these, instead of laying them down at the foot of His cross (1 Peter 5:7; Matthew 11:28) where I can exchange my burdens for His blessings? The dance of life is effortless in His grace when I follow His lead, but when I rely on my own flesh, I can barely move.
Jesus Christ is the Living Water, our endless Source of energy, freedom, and cleansing (Song of Solomon 4:15; Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13; John 4:10; Revelation 7:17). His shed blood washes away our sins and carries away our excess baggage, just as the tides faithfully empower the waves to clear out debris left on the shore (Revelation 1:5).
The first dolphin represents Jesus the Son, come to earth in the flesh (John 1:14) to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). The second, unseen dolphin symbolizes the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus Christ to live within the heart of every believer (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30), invisible like the wind except in the effects He has through His great power (John 3:8).
And the third glorious creature reminds me of Christ Who will come again, wearing His crowns (Revelation 19:12) as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16) and carrying His fan of judgment (Matthew 3:12; Luke 3:17). His victorious Word will proceed from His mouth (Revelation 19:15,21), sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), to defeat the enemies of Israel, Satan, sin and death (Revelation 19:15-21).
Once we believe that Jesus died to pay our sin debt, was buried, and rose again on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), and recognize Him as our personal Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit enters our hearts and lives there (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) until we go home to be with Him. In the meantime, we have the glorious, blessed hope of His second coming (Titus 2:13), when we will accompany Him as armies led by our King of Kings (Revelation 19:14).
What an amazing message that anyone who is born again (John 3:3-8) should want to shout from the rooftops to all who will listen! The Bible shows us many examples of those who were saved and immediately left what they were doing to proclaim the Good News to everyone, including the shepherds (Luke 2:17-18), the woman at the well (John 4:28-29), and the apostle Andrew (John 1:40-42). Many of us, in the excitement of being newly saved, did the same.
But sadly, many to whom we witness are apathetic, polite but unconvinced, or even aggressive in response to our testimony. Sadder still, that response may quench our fire to tell others the life-saving, destiny-changing Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Thankfully, our mission is not to save or even to convert anyone, for only the Holy Spirit can do that. Our mission is to sow the seed of God’s Word and our story of how He changed us forever (2 Corinthians 5:17). We may think our sowing is bearing no fruit, but there may be many whose heart is softened by our words and deeds, later becoming receptive to accepting Christ (Matthew 13:3-23).
For the most part, we won’t know of these until we reach glory, but what a joy it will be to meet them and realize we played a part in their being in Heaven! And I believe Jesus Christ will reward us for all good words spoken on His behalf, whether or not they reach fertile soil (Matthew 25:21, 23).
May we not grow weary in spreading the Good News, regardless of what reaction we encounter! In the right season we will reap our harvest (Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13), for God notices and will reward our labor!
© 2015 Laurie Collett