As I was sleeping that night, I dreamed that I was in an unfamiliar place with a large crowd of people. Suddenly the crowd became very excited and everyone started running towards an auditorium, which resembled an ancient Greek auditorium. Once in the auditorium, all the people began gazing into the blue sky. The clouds began to gently swirl around and around as they lowered to the earth. One of the clouds began forming into a thin line and turned into the distinct shape of a large cross.
The sun was brightly shining through the clouds and all around the cloud-cross there were beautiful colors that penetrated the vastness of the sky. The brilliance of the colors and the light shining through the clouds forced us to shade our eyes. But as we watched, another cloud turned into the shape of a rod and staff, and as if an invisible hand were holding the staff and lifting it up and down as it made its way closer to the auditorium, everyone 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. 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. Then I was rudely awakened from this heavenly state of mind to the loud beeping sound of my alarm clock. I lay there for a few silent moments in the peace and darkness trying to recapture the joy of that moment but once the tasks of the day ahead starting filling my mind, I arose and began the chaos of my day, and the dream faded from my thoughts.
While driving in the car that morning, I turned up my favorite Christian radio station and began to let it sooth me with songs of praise. After a few songs, it was time for the family focus segment and I half-heartedly paid attention as I mentally reviewed my to-do list. But then I realized that this morning’s devotion was based on Psalm 23. At that moment, as I now listened intently to the lesson, I was reminded of the significance of Psalm 23, and of the glorious dream I had experienced.
After pondering about the dream and the obvious relevant lesson on the radio, I knew God was speaking to me. It was his way of telling me 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. There is no need for me to spend time worrying about problems, whether big or small, when I can simply turn them over to him and receive peace, all the time knowing that he will lead me down a path of safety and well being. The dream that God placed into my sleeping mind was a little blessing to help me rekindle the joy that I felt when I first believed.
The shepherd’s staff is a symbol of protection and love. Jesus wants to protect his children and comfort them, as a shepherd would protect and comfort his sheep. The staff in my dream was so beautiful, and had peacefully drifted towards the crowd of people who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of Jesus. 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.
Although Jesus is invisible to the human eye, we can hold tight to the fact that we don’t have to see His face to know His love. Jesus is present and active in our lives… even when we are sleeping.
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy, and I will give thanks to him in song. (NIV)
John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (NIV)