Have you ever woken up with the dregs of a dream scampering through your not-quite-clear memory? Sometimes, for me, the images are so clear, they are almost like a day dream.
This morning, just before I awoke, I was swimming in a giant gorge. There were others around me and we were happily chatting until… an enormous surge of water toppled over the wall of the gorge and raced through, sweeping away – all of our markers. The next image I recall is me swimming around, trying to retrieve hundreds of lost markers. Every time a wave came, the markers were caught up in the current and swept away. The markers were critical for our happiness and survival, for how could we possibly grow, learn and develop without the markers?
This sounds pretty peculiar, doesn’t it?
Would it make more sense, if I provided the context that I am in the midst of teaching a lifeguarding course. On the course, our time is divided between the pool and the classroom and, this morning, when I set up my classroom, I discovered that I had forgotten my box of markers at home. I had to scurry around the facility, searching for markers; which are very difficult to find, because every time we buy new ones, they quickly disappear, hence me having my own box of markers.
Somewhere in my brain, my memories were making sense of my reality.
When I went to the Bible to find encouragement and teaching about dreams, the first one that really stood out to me was Joseph’s dream in Genesis 41:25-27. Pharaoh had two dreams and no one to explain them to him. God enabled Joseph to understand His message and in expounding, Joseph demonstrated that God had a plan and had provided the people with insight so that they could rely on Him and prepare to trust in Him.
In Job 33:14-18, we see that God can use dreams to warn us – to get our attention. Discomfort in a dream could be a prompting from God.
The account of Joseph’s dream to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus in Matthew 2:13, shows us how God can use messages in a dream to draw us to obedience and safety.
Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1 and Zechariah 4, all recount dreams in which God made Himself manifest. What an awesome thing, to see God.
One of my favourite passages is found in 1 Samuel 3:2-15
It happened that… the LORD called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.”
At first, Samuel did not recognize the voice of the LORD in his sleep, but he continued to listen and his heart, even when he didn’t understand, was given to obedience to God’s voice.
If we jump back to Judges 7:13-15, we read of Gideon, who, when he heard the message God sent in a dream, he worshipped. Gideon understood that God was speaking directly to them.
My silly little dream doesn’t seem to have any great philosophical meaning, nor does it illuminate prophecy. What it did do, however, was remind me that God is constantly speaking into my life, engaging me, leading me, teaching me, encouraging me, protecting me and drawing me closer to Him.
Whether you remember your dreams or not, are you open to hearing God speak to you in unexpected ways? Do you listen for Him? Do you recognize that everything that draws your mind to Him is a reminder that all of our thoughts should be centered on Him?
What thoughts are filling your dreams? What is God speaking into your life today?