Saturday, November 24, 2018

New Life

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



Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
This is a lovely testimony , and I can truly identify with it as I have many dreams (one this week) that reveal things to me, even to show me that I will be doing something or going somewhere where my natural mind tells me is impossible. If we believe that with God all things are possible then we will experience many of those things while we are on this earth. Would I have believed when I was a child that I would come up out of water after being baptized speaking in a language that I had never learned - no I would not have.
God bless Laurie.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
The beauty of Creation, even at present, does testify of the power and the beauty of God, yet the earth remains cursed because of sin. Perhaps this could be summed up in a story on a National Geographic website I have recently read about. It was about a particular place in the Grand Canyon where a female hiker fell to her death, yet where she fell from is quite a remarkable beauty spot when seen from a distance. The tragedy is that such beauty spots continue to claim lives around the world. Our own Beachy Head on the South Coast of England remains a notorious suicide spot, despite its own outstanding beauty.
I felt very distressed by the Grand Canyon story, enough to dream about it myself later in the night. Yet I have always been fascinated by the sheer dramatic beauty of this natural wonder.
By his merciful grace, God has promised a new heaven and a new earth. With the curse of sin finally lifted, no doubt the beauty of the new creation will be many times more glorious than at present, with every consequence of sin forever gone.
Thank you for sharing your dream. God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing your experience. Praise God that without Jesus, we can do nothing, but with Him, all things are possible!
God bless you too!

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge of these great scenic wonders now marred by the curse of sin, even to the point of leading to death. Suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA continue to increase, and I have even read about a Dog Suicide Bridge in Milton, Scotland, which apparently lures dogs to their death as they jump off. Even the serpent in his original form in the Garden of Eden must have been a strikingly beautiful creature before God punished him for tempting Eve by having him crawl on his belly. We cannot even begin to imagine how amazingly beautiful the new heavens and earth will be, unmarred by sin, peril, or corruption in any form.
God bless,

Susan said...

(Third attempt ) Hi Laurie, thank you for the reminder of how amazing the Lord has been and continues to be as He transforms my life.

Donald Fishgrab said...

Neat post, Laurie. Praise God, he changes us from what we used to be, into something far different and more suited to his purpose when we allow hi to have his way. Even while we are struggling here on earth, we are able to have that heavenly communion and fellowship with him, and there is nothing he can't make right.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Susan! Praise God for His amazing grace and transforming power! Thanks for your comment and God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Donald! May we yield to His perfect will and trust Him to transform us according to His perfect purpose for our life.
God bless,