Do you believe that God pursues you? That He is creatively using ways to speak to you? Simply because He loves you? I'm usually pretty hard of hearing, too wrapped up in myself to pay attention. (and truthfully, a bit cautious when people seem to speak too freely about 'God speaking to them'.) But I think that skepticism can sometimes keep me from seeing what God is doing around me....and I don't want to be deaf to His voice. I really do want to know Him. I think that's why I write sometimes. I want to record times like this... so that I won't forget how we heard His voice in the dark times.
Several weeks ago I had a nightmare. I dreamt that I was dead but still able to watch everyone from my body. It's hard to explain but the feeling was of being trapped, silenced, cut off - and it was terrifying. There was one other time that I remember dreaming this - it was the night before we buried Rachel. On that night, all I could think about was her body in the casket which was sitting on the downstairs couch, just a few feet away from our bedroom. We had just made the long trip, 16 hours or so, across the prairies to reach my parents' place. Stopping at McDonalds twice. Watching parents with their babies while mine was in the back of our van...in a casket. Yeah. That wasn't easy. And the days and nights before we buried her, our minds were trying to comprehend this. How could she be gone? And where was she? What had happened to our little girl? And at night, when my thoughts were cloudy with exhaustion and stress - I felt afraid, panicked because I didn't know where she was. I know what God says about death. But I had never had to lay my daughter's body in the back of a hearse before....
Then, the second similar dream happened a few weeks ago. I got up to start the day, shaken. Again I had that desperate feeling to know if Rachel was really safe, if she was really ok. After getting Ethan off to school and the day was on it's way, I checked the mail box. And found a card from a friend. This is the verse she wrote on the inside......
"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death." Psalm 68: 19,20
wow. Did that verse come to me at the right time or what? I could feel the fear slowly dissapating as I read this over several times, and allowed it to sink in, deep inside. God saves us from death! Rachel is ok! Death does not have a hold on her because of HIM. And perhaps just as comforting to me was the thought that God, who must have known what I needed to hear that morning, directed my friend two provinces away to share that verse with me by mail. Was it co-incidence? Now reading over what I wrote, it seems like it might have been. But that morning, it seemed like this was His direct response to my battles with fear. And the truth of those verses hit those fears where it mattered.
Dave read me a quote this morning....and just because it kind of fits, I'm going to add it too. Having just written about my fears of death - this was amazing for me to hear. What would it be like to know God and trust Him like this?!!!
As one of you put it to me, when you were in the midst of a terrible, life-threatening illness and I asked you if you were afraid of death, you said to me, “Not really. When I think of all the trouble that God has gone to for me, all the tricks that God has used to grab me, all the traps that God has lain to catch me, I can’t believe God will let a little thing like death stump him.” -William Willimon, Conversations with Barth on Preaching, 133