Last night I had the strangest (most realistic) dream- ever! The message I got from it was so strong, so clear that I feel absolutely compelled to share it this morning.
Without going into every detail, because I can’t really remember them all, the basic “story line” went like this: I was standing in a room and an old friend came up to me and asked me a question. When I casually answered, I got caught in a small lie about an old lie. All of a sudden, she started to explain how this lie had negatively affected her entire life. (PS- this was a real-life lie)
I felt embarrassed, mortified and totally shocked, so I kept insisting I didn’t lie, when clearly I did. In my defense, I had originally lied to protect someone else..
So all of a sudden THAT person I was trying to protect with the original lie appears.. and now he starts telling me how my actions negatively affected HIS life.
No one is yelling, we are all just talking..and I keep defending myself.
Next thing you know, a third person shows up and asks me a question that forces me to lie about another old lie again..and this keeps happening as more and more people show up out of nowhere to explain how things I did affected their lives.
(* I interrupt this dream to let you know that it’s not like I’m a compulsive liar or stealing money from St. Jude or anything, this is just run of the mill stuff I’m having to face in my dream which is why I was absolutely HORRIFIED that my actions and choices had such an outsized effect on people.. I mean holy cow, whaat?!)
Anyway- back to the dream.
Again, no one is screaming or crying or throwing stones, it’s just getting crowded and extremely complicated and uncomfortable; I was getting hot and sweaty. The worst part was, I had NO IDEA that I had caused so many problems and such awful pain. It was the worst, most awful feeling because there was nothing I could do..it was too late to fix all of the messes that grew out of what I’d done over so many years. I remember saying “but” a lot..
Hang with me now..this is where is gets even weirder.
So at this moment I wake up (for real, this is not part of the dream) and I’m lying in my bed with our dog literally rolled up in a ball next to my neck.. I was legitimately hot; my neck and back all sweaty. As I’m laying there, I hear this super faint, but unmistakable beeping..really faint and not at all in a rhythm..
beep beep beep
I get up and walk out into the living room trying to figure out where this intermittent beeping is coming from..but I can’t find the source. I walk one way and it gets quieter..I walk the other way and it gets quieter again..plus there are long pauses in between the beeps so I keep standing still, waiting for another beep to guide me. The beeps are not coming from my husband’s fit bit, the cable box, the security system, the coffee pot, the microwave or the fridge..
I start to get the shivers. I’m still sweaty from my dream and it’s cold in our house so I finally get back into my bed.
I start to think about my dream.
They say that when you are about to die, you flash back over your life. Is my dream the kind of flash back you get? Is this what it feels like at the end of your days? Do all the people you’ve hurt or disappointed or let down show up for that moment?
( And double yikes..am I about to get a bad case of Covid or something??)
Which brings me to Christmas and why I feel so compelled to share my crazy dream with you.
Christmas with its gifts and lights is meant to be a reminder that God sent his son to save us..
“From what?” you may ask..
From scenes like in my dream where we are held accountable for the things we cannot fix or take back.
Christianity is rooted, grounded and built on forgiveness, grace, and mercy. I heard it once said that while most of the world’s religions are based on what you must do for God, Christianity is ALL about what He did for you..
You can’t work your way, pray your way or donate your way to forgiveness or salvation..it is a GIFT, that’s it..all you have to do is receive it. I walked around my entire house in the darkness last night searching for the source of that beeping but COULD NOT FIND IT.. That’s what it is like when we try to find absolution on our own; no matter how hard we try, no matter where we go or where we look, we can NEVER, EVER reach it.
Which is why we need Christmas so desperately.
The only way out of the guilt (and repercussions) of our sin is a relationship with Jesus. He is the one who comes into our lives and saves us from the consequences of what we’ve done- of who we are..and then, (here’s the best part) he tells us that not only are we forgiven, but He himself will strike our sins from the book.
We are as white as snow (and that’s a quote!)
Jesus doesn’t walk into that sad scene in my dream and just blow up the room to make that awful situation go away.. he ushers me out of the messes of MY MAKING.. into a new place and tells me that I can start over..fresh. He then goes back into the room to personally face the consequences of MY mistakes..FOR me. It’s as if I created a huge running tab at the restaurant of life.. and Jesus steps in to pay a bill I could never, ever, ever afford.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THIS, my dear friends, is the precious gift of Christmas..all you have to do is open it. It is available to all, no one is too far gone, no one’s sins are too big- or too small.
We all need this gift..and it’s ready for pick-up whenever you decide to get it..