|Photo by Veledan 2005|
I had a dream in which I was pregnant. My husband and I were staying at a lovely manor nestled in a forested country estate. In the dream, we were sleeping when the light of dawn shining through our window awakened me. I could hear God’s voice beckoning me to come outside and let Him speak to me through the beauty of His creation (Psalm 19:1).
Not wishing to disturb my slumbering husband, I quietly arose, got dressed, and tiptoed outdoors. Wispy fog shrouded the valley like a bridal veil, bejeweled with sparkling dew illuminated by the sun’s first rays. Off in the distance, at the edge of the forest, I spotted a fawn staring at me, her ears focused in my direction like antennae.
To my surprise, the fawn began advancing toward me, timidly at first, then transforming into a sleek panther charging past me at full speed with amazing muscular power and grace. Rather than fear, I felt only awe at her beauty, like that of an elegant Art Deco sculpture but with the locomotive force of the Orient Express.
As soon as she disappeared I spotted a huge black bear in the distance, standing upright on his hind legs in a menacing display of lethal strength. Yet as I stood transfixed, unable to move as he approached me, I was shocked that his bold, lumbering strides shortened and became almost playful. When he was within striking distance, he unexpectedly stretched out before me on all fours in a submissive bow, then nudged his head against my legs like a kitten wanting to be petted.
I stroked the velvety nape of his neck and was amazed at the metamorphosis from deadly predator to loving companion. As much as I wanted to remain outdoors and embrace all of God’s creation and creatures, I felt I should return to our room before my husband became alarmed at my absence. Once I crossed the threshold back inside the manor, I realized I had entered a different door from where I had exited the lodge, and that the cozy manor had grown into a palace.
Although I was traveling a circuitous and unknown route through the castle, I was propelled by an uplifting force that sped me past comfortable sitting rooms, well-appointed libraries and lavish foyers, and finally through an ornately decorated grand theatre where I was literally flying through the air, from the rear of the hall, over the mezzanines, across the proscenium and over the stage. Then I mysteriously found that I had arrived safely back to our room, where my husband was still sleeping.
As I awoke and considered the meaning of the dream, I recognized that the main theme was new life. In the dream I was pregnant, even though in reality I am well past childbearing age. It reminded me of one of my favorite verses:
Hebrews 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
When I am going through difficult times, especially in the various ministries God has so graciously appointed to me, I find that the numbers 11-11 keep reappearing, as if God is reminding me of this verse and His faithfulness. 11-11 may appear as the cost of a purchase, the change received from a transaction, on the license plates of cars on the road or street addresses of houses I pass, or on a digital clock or recording counter.
These reminders are to have faith, not that I will have a baby, but that God will plant in me a new sense of purpose, a new ministry, a new desire to follow His perfect will (Romans 12:2). We are never too old to accept a new assignment from God (Joshua 13:1), provided we listen to His direction (Psalm 46:10), follow the Spirit’s guidance, and have faith that He will complete the perfect work He has started in us (1 Chronicles 28:20; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 13:21).
The fawn who grew into a panther was an example of how God can grow us to suit His purpose for our life. The timid person with no natural talent for speaking or commanding authority, may like Moses become a bold ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20)and leader in God’s kingdom (Exodus 4:10-12).
Like the bear who turned from formidable to affectionate, God’s child who was once a brutish, mean bully can become tenderhearted through His grace, transforming from feared enemy to loving encourager. In the new heavens and new earth, we will have no need to fear wild animals, for none will cause any harm, and all will live together peaceably (Isaiah 11:6-9).
Saul of Tarsus, who devoted himself to persecuting, imprisoning, and even killing Christians (Acts 7:58-59; 8:1-3), became the apostle Paul after he encountered the Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3-6. As a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), he not only encouraged fellow Christians, but became a missionary, an evangelist to the Gentiles, a church planter, and author of about fifteen books of the New Testament, all through God’s grace.
The Lord Jesus Himself, Who will return to judge the world as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16), in His earthly ministry was the epitome of meekness, or great power kept under restraint (Matthew 11:29; 21:5). He submitted to His Father’s will by suffering and dying on the cross (Luke 22:42), even though He could have called legions of angels (Matthew 26:53) and in His own power escaped that destiny (John 10:17-18).
In the dream I marveled at the beauty of the palace and all its marvelous rooms, reminding me that part of the new life I will have in Heaven will be the mansion that Lord Jesus is preparing just for me (John 14:1-3). I was able to travel at supernatural speed and even to fly, perhaps a metaphor of the amazing power of the Holy Spirit we have within us from the moment of salvation onward (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30).
As if we could fly, we can even be seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus while we walk this earth (Ephesians 1:3; 2:6). Once we have our glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42-57), we will be able to experience many new powers and abilities like that of Jesus in His glorified body, Who was able to suddenly appear in the middle of a locked room (John 20:26), and to appear and disappear at will (Luke 24:31).
Of course, none of this is possible until we are saved by placing our faith in the death of Jesus Christ to pay for our sins, his burial, and His resurrection on the third day, proving that He is God (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 1:4; 1 Timothy 1:16-17). Once we experience the new life of the second, spiritual birth (John 3:3-8), we are a new creation in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). Praise the Lord, old things have passed away, and all things are become new!
© 2018 Laurie Collett