I had a dream a few nights ago that shook me with one of the blackest events I could imagine. I startled awake, struggling to breathe, heart pounding like helicopter blades. Unlike other something more dreams, I couldn’t pray. I waited for guidance. Nothing. Only my anguish. It felt so real. I could almost hear my heart tearing in two. For fifteen or twenty minutes I had was must have been a full on panic attack. When I’d gulped enough air, I cried, “No! Please, God! No!” And after a while, “Take me instead.”
How deep the darkness that weighed on her.
Even after my husband woke up and prayed for me, I couldn’t go back to sleep. I struggled through the morning. Several conversations with two of my daughters helped to ease the ache, but the reality of it stayed in front of me for days — and nights.
A weekend filed with good family time helped to move the pain off center stage, but, like a San Francisco fog which seems to clear, then covers and chills everything, I couldn’t completely shake it.
Until Sunday morning when I went to church with YD and her family.
As so often happens, it was song that spoke to my heart. “God Is Able”
The question for my heart was:
Will you listen to the song from the Lord when you are looking in the face of great loss, hopelessness or grief?
Or will you chose to stay between the cross and the grave, and dwell in loss or fear?
Will you believe he really is a good God who desires good for you, or will you continue to prepare for the great “test” always waiting around the corner to pull the rug out from under you?
Had I generalized God’s order to Abraham about Isaac, believing that he means to take anything I love too much? Was it childhood trauma? Was I like Thomas, believing the worst until proven otherwise? I worked through the logical and psychological reasons for the dream, and the fear, but I couldn’t dodge the bottom line.
Will I trust God, even with this?
Especially with this.
The enemy hisses.
And sometimes Jesus seems silent, with nail-pierced hands extended, waiting for me to reach out for him.
To trust him to pull me out of the darkness.
A resurrection life means we don’t have to listen to the enemy of our souls, to the lies that wound, bind or cripple us.
But it is a choice.
We each face the question: Will I dwell in the valley of the shadow of death, or reach for Jesus?