he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
Not long ago, I had such a wonderful, vivid dream that I have never forgotten it.
I dreamed I was in an unfamiliar place with crowds of people on every side. Suddenly, I heard a roar of voices as the crowd became very excited. Hoards of people began running towards a large auditorium, which resembled the pictures in history books of ancient Greek auditoriums, so I immediately joined in. Once we were all in the auditorium, everyone began gazing into the blue sky; eyes fixed on something invisible, yet filled with great anticipation.
The clouds began to gently swirl around and around like white cotton candy as they lowered closer to the earth. Then one of the clouds began forming into a thin line and transforming into the distinct shape of a large cross.The sun was brightly shining and beautiful colors penetrated the vastness of the sky as they surrounded the fluffy white cross.
It was so bright that we all were forced to shade our eyes. But as we watched, another cloud transformed into the shape of a rod and staff, and it was as if an invisible hand were holding the staff and lifting it up and down as it made its way closer to the auditorium. All the people brimmed with excitement and starting chanting the words, “It’s Jesus! Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!”
The thrill and excitement I felt was overwhelming. Actually indescribable. Just the thought of seeing the face of Jesus, and standing in His presence took my breath away, and the joy and anticipation was so real. I jumped to see over the people in front of me and strained my eyes to get a glimpse of His face – I couldn’t fathom getting to see Jesus. In person.But moments before He was within view, I was rudely awakened to the loud beeping sound of my alarm clock.
I reached over and cut off the alarm, and lay there in the silence, trying to recapture the exhilarating joy of that moment, wishing myself back to sleep so I could see Jesus. But the dream had been whisked away as quickly as my next breath. Eventually my thoughts turned to the busy day ahead, and as I jumped into my morning routine, the dream gradually faded from my thoughts.
Later I got in my car and turned on the radio and heard a devotional being shared by the show host. I half-heartedly paid attention as I mentally reviewed my to-do list, until I realized they were talking about Psalm 23, which talks about Jesus being our shepherd, and instantly, memories of my dream came flooding back.
I suddenly became acutely aware that God was speaking directly to me. He whispered to my spirit that I needed to lay my burdens down, and be faithful in knowing that He will protect me, comfort me, and lead me to a state of contentment and secure rest. Just like a Shepherd who protects its sheep.
You see, the shepherd’s staff is a symbol of protection and love. Jesus wants to protect his children and comfort them with His love, just as a shepherd who protects and comforts his sheep. The staff in my dream was a depiction of Jesus, as it had peacefully drifted towards earth. Although the actual face of Jesus never appeared in my dream, the presence of the staff was enough to bring incredible joy to everyone in its presence. All the people knew that the staff was Jesus.
Hot tears filled my eyes upon realizing how heavy my heart had been with worry, anxiety, stress and busyness. I had not realized the toll these things were taking on me emotionally until God opened my eyes and helped me see my need to rest. In Him.
I began to pray, telling God about all the worries I had been carrying around, as if He didn’t already know. But it felt good to lay them at His feet. And we talked for a while. Afterwards, I felt a sense of peace I hadn’t felt in a while. As if He had me plucked me from a thistle bush and laid me gently in a lush green pasture. My heart felt full of joy. Rested. Refreshed. Safe.
I haven’t seen the face of Jesus just yet, but I know that one day I will and the excitement of doing so makes my heart skip a beat. Until that day, I want to savor the anticipation from my dream, and allow it to be my motivation to remember to rest in the care of my Shepherd.
Have you ever thought about the reality of actually meeting Jesus face to face? What emotions does that thought evoke in your heart?