Saturday, March 26, 2016

I had a dream last week that changed my paradigm...

A few nights ago I had a dream that was very disturbing and that has been troubling me ever since. My family and I were in a unfamiliar place trying to escape the ravages of violent Islamic Extremists. We were sneaking through the woods trying to quietly escape them. In my dream I knew that if we were discovered, we would be abused or killed. I was terrified. I was trying to help my daughters not be afraid and to not let them sense my fear. We ended up getting into a cold river and swimming for safety. Every second was filled with fear and anxiety. I was trying to help my youngest daughter swim, and was struggling to keep both of our heads above the freezing cold water. At the same time I was trying to keep everyone quiet. Even the sound of their arms slapping the water as they were swimming stressed me to the core. I was especially worried about my two older daughters who we had to let swim on their own. I kept whispering to them, “Are you guys ok?” They were in tears, cold and terrified. I could see the fear in my wife’s eyes as she was helping them along. My eyes were scouring the river banks terrified that we would be discovered at any moment. Every sound I heard shot lightning bolt of fear throughout my entire body.
Suddenly I awoke laying in my safe bed in a cold sweat and the dream was over. I was filled with gratitude to be in my bed. I was so happy to be in a safe place where I didn’t have to worry about such things. I looked at my wife sleeping peacefully next to me, and went and checked on each of my daughters.  As I returned to my bed I laid there pondering the relief and gratitude I felt that it was just a dream. 
It was then that I was struck with an awful reality. There are fathers, and mothers, and children right now in various parts of the world who are dealing with the realities of my horrible fleeting dream.
My heart was filled with sorrow for those people. I know that even as I am writing this there is a Father somewhere in the world that is looking into the terrified eyes of his wife and children, who is dealing with the fear, anxiety and frustration that I was dealing with during my dream.
I hope that all of us who are fortunate enough to not live in such circumstances will lay aside politics and offer whatever help we can to people who are suffering such things. It may feel like there is little we can do to help, but If we can do nothing else we can cry unto our God on their behalf. Isaiah taught the following: “strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be Strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you” (Isaiah 35:3-4).
I pray that this will happen sooner than later. That may be all I can do right now so I will do it. I will pray for those whose reality parallels my horrible dream and I will pray that God will deliver them who have honest hearts, who just want peace for themselves and their families. My heart hurts for such people.

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