Are you a risk taker? Do you like to venture out without a plan or agenda?
Not me. I like security. I want to know what the plan is. Even as a runner, I want to know what route to take, how far I will be going and what the conditions are.
I’ve found that where plans are concerned, God has a sense of humor.
A year ago during a time of earnestly seeking Him for direction of my future I had a vivid dream. It was about my church and my relationship to it. Our church is a huge part of our family’s life. It was deeply personal, so I wrote it down.
The dream stirred in me an expectation that something new and fresh was awaiting. I have revisited the dream many times over the last year. A year later, almost to the day, I was telling the dream to a friend when it hit me that I had missed one very obvious point. In fact, I’d missed the main point of the dream.
First, a little about me and my people -our church:
I LOVE our church. It has been our family for the past 18 years. It’s the people we do life with. This is our home and our people. It’s where we have grown as individuals.
It’s also where I happen to “work”. I love the people I work with. My role on staff has caused me grow in knowledge, understanding and care for others. I could not have asked for a better opportunity than I have lived the last 2 decades.
So… the dream.
I was in the company of my people. Many good, Godly things were happening. For some unexplainable reason I was compelled to leave. I was perplexed. Why leave? These are my people, great things were happening.
I began to suffocate as I delayed. It didn’t make sense. I resisted, not knowing why or where I was to go.
Finally, out of desperation, I surrendered and stepped out. At once, my lungs filled with fresh air. I looked around me, and my vision sharpened. I saw things in color. I realized I hadn’t seen color in a while. Everything around me was fresh and new. There were things I had lost sight of. I understood it was not about the place itself, but I myself had come to a state of familiarity and ambiguity.
Then, immediately beside me, I found a carpet like apparatus floating inches about the ground. Something like an Aladdin carpet (for lack of better wording, I’ll refer to it as the wing of faith). Curious, I stepped onto the wing. It was a strange sensation, but so exciting! Right way, I found that anywhere I set my vision, I went. I set out for the ocean, ready to explore the places I longed to go.
Freedom. Mobility. Adventure. I was no longer stagnant.
However, I realized that I needed to use caution where I set my sights, for I soon encountered dangerous places and people. Not acknowledging the inner caution, I stepped off the wing onto the shore to feel the water on the sand. I didn’t heed the signs. Darkness came quickly with a stifling stillness.
Without warning, the tide quickly pulled me down and out. I flung about gasping for air, no match for the great pull of the sea. I’d lost sight of all but the dark water swallowing me. In desperation, and on the verge of drowning, I let out a wordless cry. The silent wing was at once there extracting me out. I set my feet once again on the safety of faith.
Seeking wisdom, I returned to the point at which I first set out.
Upon returning, I found my husband, who was ready to set out as well. Momentarily tempted to go back into the comfortable place; we resisted. We understood we had entered a season of journey. Direction was revealed outside -in the light of clarity.
We united, committing ourselves to the journey. We spent a short time becoming familiar with this “faith”. At this point, faith took on a different form. We each had a packet. Later, I recognized it to be the word of God.
Holding on to our packets, we could hold nothing else.
We set out, this time soaring far above the comfort of the land. No longer could I step off and walk on my own. As we continued upward it was increasingly more difficult to maintain our vision of where we thought we ought to go.
It was as if the packets were the driving force, directing our course. Despite all our unanswered questions, there was absolute peace and fantastic joy, freedom and mobility. We knew we were on the correct path. High above the land we continued, tightly holding on to the Word nestled at our chests. We were swept into the jet stream. It was then I understood; this was about the journey far more than the destination.
A loud beeping interrupted this amazing journey. My alarm. No! I willed myself back into the dream, to no avail.
I would like to say the dream ended with a disclosure of where we were to go, or even why. For a whole year, I have done nothing.
I revisited the dream numerous times over the last year. In a year of many changes, reflecting on the dream brought me comfort.
One night I was telling a friend about the dream. When I finished, my friend Vickie tilted her head, raised her eyebrows pleasantly, and matter-of-factly asked, “Oh. So you mean you didn’t know what to do or where to go until you stepped out, huh?”.
In that instant, it was as if the entire dream crystalized within me.
Faith invites you to step out from the gray fog of familiarity and ambiguity before you can see clearly and proceed on the journey of faith. Only after you take that first step do you gain clarity and direction to take further steps. You must take initial steps to gain vision. Faith is the vehicle by which you otherwise cannot go.
Even as I write, it sounds risky to step out unto unfamiliar territory. I want a plan. A specific place to go to; a role to fulfill, a means to get there. Or …I can choose to trust in God and recognize that to date; every place He has led me, I would not have gone on my own left to my own logic and reasoning.
Planning and preparation are good, but sometimes we are called to step outside of all that we have known to embrace that which we are called to. A good season must end before a better one begins.
In due season, you just know that it’s time, and it’s right. For me, the time is now, and to hesitate is to suffocate and miss the invitation to the journey by faith thru surrender and obedience.
I am being stretched. It’s one thing to experience this these truths in a dream, but quite another to walk in out.
Abraham was called from a land that he and his family had prospered in to an unknown land by an unnamed God whom he couldn’t see or audibly hear. On the journey, they settled for a season in Haran, a place of abundance where He prospered greatly. Surely he was tempted to remain in that good place.
By faith he picked up his family and pursued God’s call to further follow Him to the place he did not know that God would show him.
What about you? In what ways are you taking steps of faith? Have you become stagnant like me? Are you hungry enough to take a bold step? What does that look like for you?
What was the last thing God put on your heart to do, and have you done it? Is there a business or ministry you are called to serve in or even start? Do you have a skill or talent that is not being utilized? Have you withheld forgiveness? Maybe there’s someone you know, whom you need to reach out too.
Be bold! The Word says, “and without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
Don’t get stuck in safety and comfort. Go explore something new. Nothing ventured truly is nothing gained. Do something today. Anything, just do something.
Leave a comment. I’d love to hear what God is stirring in you!!