Context: Today’s blog describes what happened after I posted, “Thank you, Jesus” yesterday (https://wp.me/p45bCr-cP2).
Just before settling down to sleep that night I attached my night-cross to my wrist, as always. Then I asked God to be with me in my dreams (see https://wp.me/p45bCr-cHj). I started doing this recently because of a spate of nightmares, probably due to a new medication I was taking. Finally, I switched off the light and went to sleep.
I dreamed I was in a small, wooden boat, being rowed down a flooded street. Initially, the water was calm.
Then water began to pulse into the street, each wave higher and rougher than the one before, until the water became a rolling, boiling chaos.
Again and again, tons of water towered above me as the boat was tossed around. Soon waves began to break over me, swamping the boat. I was terrified, and started to scream repeatedly.
A dream within a dream
Then, within the dream, I slowly woke, still screaming, gasping for air. I was in bed in my old, ugly, uncomfortable room at my mother’s house. I was young, but not a child – perhaps a late teenager, or in my early twenties. There was nowhere I would less rather be.
Slowly, slowly, my screams diminished, and I stopped gasping for breath. Eventually my mother appeared in her dressing-gown. I had clearly woken her up, which was never a good thing. I remember feeling that she was very the last person I wanted to see, as she had nothing but scorn for those who were afraid, including me. She was incapable of offering me any comfort, understanding, or sympathy. Indeed, I feared her more than anyone else I had ever known. Finding myself in her house, undressed and in bed, with her in my room, was worse than being in the boat. I felt so vulnerable.
Then I began to wake, gradually realising it had all been a dream. However, I couldn’t stop re-living the terrifying sight of the waves towering above me, or the sensation of them falling on to me, filling the boat. It was just like having flashbacks from my childhood, which happened to me so often, and for so many years, that I had no idea they weren’t normal.
Slowly, slowly, I surfaced more fully, until I reached a point where I was able to whisper, “Thank you, Jesus”, whilst holding my night-cross firmly in my hand, where it had remained all night.
Instantly, I stopped re-living the terrifying sights and sensations of my dream. My inner storm had been stilled by those three, precious words.
Then I reached for my iPad to write this blog, feeling awed by what had happened. I was no longer disturbed or afraid, though my body felt as if it were vibrating for a while afterwards. The whole experience left me with a lot to reflect on.
I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20; NIV).
You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me (Jonah 2:3; NIV).
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4; NIV).
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed (Psalm 107:29; NIV).
He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him (Luke 17:16; NIV).
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18; NIV).
Reading: Mark 4:35-41; RSV
When evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.
And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?”
And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”
And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”