I dream that I’m at an event in an unfamiliar place. I find a list of the seminars offered and choose one to attend. But when I go to check the room number, the schedule is gone. Now, what do I do?
Anxiety rises as I wander down the wide, dimly lit hallways. I see a few friends, but they evade me. What did I do wrong?
I keep walking and looking for direction. Aware that time is ticking and I’m missing out, I begin to panic. I finally stop and talk to a man having coffee. “I’m not going to any of the talks,” he says flatly. “They’re only trying to sell you stuff.” His cavalier remark only adds to my confusion.
I am lost, rejected–and alone. Where is God? I have no choice but to try to make the best of it on my own. Dread engulfs me.
I notice that I am overheating. I throw off my blankets and begin to wake. With a wave of relief, I realize I do not have to return to that Godless situation. At any moment, I can look into my heart and find God, who is always with me. No matter what happens, I’ll be all right.
Later that day, I sit down to pray and reflect on my dream. In God’s presence, I relive the dread of being sentenced by people’s judgments and imprisoned in my deficiencies. Despair throbs in my throat. I’ve been in hells like this before.
What do you see, God? What is going on for you when I am trapped and alone?
In response, I somehow know that the intensity of my dread matches the intensity of God’s desire to rescue me. I feel God’s feelings.
Deep calls to deep, the psalmist wrote, in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
I am humbled and tearful now. God’s love for me—for all of us—pounds against the shores of my soul, enlarging it. I see everyone and everything on earth as if they are pebbles on my beach. Waves rush in and recede, glistening each stone, loosening the sand, tugging us home.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!
— Samuel T. Francis, 1875
Questions & suggestions for your Lenten journey:
- What do you relate to in my dream or prayer?
- We all know God loves us, but it’s hard for us to really believe it. Invite Jesus to reveal to you personally the depth of his love for you.