Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The dream with the wolves
A couple of years ago, I had this dream. It was so vivid. And terrifying.
I was somewhere with a sort of empty landscape, like the desert, and it was just after sunset. The light was dim and shadows were all around me. I was alone and afraid.
Soon, a small pack of snarling wolves approached me, viciously baring their teeth and advancing. I could tell they were intent on attacking me and I had nowhere to run. I felt defenseless and weak, as they began to lunge and bite me. I hadn't a sense of such pain and terror in a dream in years.
And then I realized I wasn't alone. In the shadows stood the figure of a man nearby. I knew it was Jesus, and yet He stood motionless. He seemed unaffected by my torment. I kept trying to dodge the wolves and turn away from their biting, but they were relentless. I felt a panicked confusion that Jesus wouldn't rescue me. He simply stood in the shadow, watching. I didn't know why He wouldn't help me, and so I endured a sort of injury from Him as well.
I must also add that I was ignoring something inside my spirit. It was illogical, this idea, and so it took a long time for me to listen. I already somehow knew that if I were to scream out, "I'm enough!" the wolves would stop hurting me. All I had to do was shout it out. It was as if Jesus was giving me this shield, and I refused to use it. Because I couldn't believe it.
So I chose to fight in my own ways first. It just made more sense. Dodging, hiding, feverishly praying, yelling at the wolves. None of it worked. They bit and growled and hurt me again and again.
Finally, out of options, feeling broken, abandoned, and desperate for relief, I screamed it out. "I'M ENOUGH! I'm enough. I'm enough..." And instantly the wolves retreated.
At the same moment, there came another agreement I knew I needed to make in my heart. Not just "I'm enough," but "You are enough," as well. I needed to believe that even when I can't understand God's ways, He is and has everything I need. As soon as I could speak out and believe that I was enough in His eyes and He was enough for me, peace settled, nothing could attack me, and I began to heal.
Now, it is a couple years later, and I'm still working the truths of this dream out into my real life.
I had a doozy of a week last week. I didn't realize for several days of being attacked (in a spiritual sense) that that was exactly what was happening. I was trying twenty other ways to dodge the lies that were taking bites out of me. But the dream...I wasn't remembering it, and in a moment of surrender and silence, the Lord brought it to mind. All you need to do to be free is shout to those wolves, "I'm enough," and "He is enough," because I AM. I could feel them starting to retreat as soon as I conceded, "Yes, OK, I remember, Lord."
God spoke these "enough" weapons to me a long time ago, and they haven't expired. I don't know if they resonate with you in your own life, if your wolves are like mine, attacking your self-worth and sufficiency, and God's sufficiency too, sometimes with relentless force. And I don't know if you've reasoned with God like I have, saying, "God HOW, exactly, am I enough, when I know I am definitely NOT, when I am definitely falling short in all my jobs?" This was His answer for me this week: "You are enough, because I am the rest." His power is perfected in my weakness. When I fall short, He makes up the difference. He is the rest. I can't always see it, but I believe it. And belief in the truth makes for quite a formidable shield.
And one more thing. In retrospect, I remember that shadowed man in my dream, the passive Jesus. The problem is that Jesus is never passive. He is always acting on behalf of His children, so when he seems passive, I've learned it is to allow us room to take our own steps of faith. A good parent eventually lets go of the newly walking baby's hand. She lets her child take age-appropriate risks. The Lord is no different. Now I realize that in my dream, He was not passive. He was waiting. He didn't abandon me in my struggle (even though I felt like He did). He was at my side, witnessing and feeling my every pain, and praying for me to find courage.
Friends, that is what He is always doing! Standing nearby, like a good parent, ready to brace us if we fall, but also hoping we take that next wobbly step of faith.