Dreams are fascinating. How something completely made up from somewhere in our psyche can feel so real as if it actually happened to us! Have you ever woken from a dream completely startled that it actually took you a day or two to convince yourself that what you dreamed didn't really happen? This happened to my 5-year-old just last night.
This morning he came running out of his room crying. It startled me so that I actually met him as he was coming out of his room. After nearly jumping into my arms and after he calmed down a bit, he told me about his bad dream. My sweet boy had dreamed we had all died. In his mind, he had lost his entire family including his own life. Now, before you start judging me, please know how careful my husband and I try to be when it comes to such sensitive subjects as death. We answer questions as our children bring them up, but I couldn't remember anything that would possibly lead to him having this nightmare.
You know, I've learned with our first child that there does come a moment when a person realizes what it actually means to pass away. Death becomes real. The fact that we are not invincible sinks in a bit. And of course, reality always gives plenty of examples for us to learn from. I realized, just like with my other child, my dear boy was coming to this realization as well. Perhaps he doesn't fear death, but he's thought about it enough for it to impact his mind...enough to impact what he dreams.
After talking to my son about his dream and assuring him that's all it was - just a dream - we were able to have a sweet time praying together and singing songs to the Lord. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to teach him about not giving into fear and asking the Lord to restore his joy, grant him peace, and strengthen his heart.
But friends, I got to thinking.
There is an enemy out there. And he preys on the weak. And if you think your children are exempt from his tactics, you are horribly mistaken. Just as my son learned a lesson on fear, so too, did I. There's only so much I can prevent from happening to my kids. There's only so much control I have over them and their lives and their decisions. But just as my boy found relief in surrendering his fear of death to the Lord (in his precious 5-year-old way), I too surrendered (once again) my fear of not being able to control everything.
Do we honestly know how good we've got it? As much as we THINK we would like to be able to control everything, that's really not a task that our human hearts are built to withstand. It's interesting...just as difficult as it is to relinquish control to the Lord, it is equally comforting to relinquish control to the Lord. And by equal, I mean the same amount of emotional strength and relief is involved. What relief there is in knowing I'm not the one in charge here! I am not made for that. You are not made for that.
You don't have to be a parent to be a control freak. If you have a pulse, you qualify. Where are you these days? What part of you do you need to relinquish to the Lord? What are you holding onto? Or better yet, what's holding onto you? The Lord is waiting to carry that for you. He IS made for it. He was created for it. And He's the only one who can.
(Wow! How did I get all of that from a 5-year-old's dream?! The Lord will use anything to teach us a lesson or two. The question is...do you know Him well enough to be able to recognize His voice? I bet He's got something to teach you, too. He's into that, ya know?)