I looked down. The wooden flooring I stood on was being ripped from beneath my feet. Uncontrollable winds were literally tearing everything apart. I had nowhere to go. All I could do was stand, frozen, while everything around me was being torn up. Then, I woke up. I had been dreaming. But I knew this wasn’t just a dream–it felt like a prophetic picture of what’s happening right now in our lives.
Do you feel it too? It’s like the floor – something we can usually count on – is being ripped out from underneath us. Uncertainty surrounds us. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do. It’s as if time is standing still while a world of chaos whips by.
I couldn’t help but wonder about a couple of things I had seen in my dream. First, even though the floor was being ripped apart, I remember seeing that the walls were still intact. Second, while chaos surrounded me, I wasn’t afraid. This is unusual because if I’m honest there are plenty of times when fear fills my heart instead of peace. If this actually happened to me in real life I would have done everything I could to stop the floor from being ripped away. I would’ve tried to control the chaos. Wouldn’t you?
That’s what we all do sometimes, right? Try to control the storms around us. And, even though we know we can’t control everything, we persist. Why? I think we try to control the outside of our lives to satisfy the inside. What I mean by that, is the more we feel like we have it all together on the outside, the more we feel like we have it all together in our heart… I knew there was more to this dream. So, I needed to ask God about it. I asked Him to reveal more of what this dream meant to me and in His faithfulness, I felt Him share this: an encounter with fear can empower our faith.
Just a few short days after I processed my dream with God social distancing became a real thing for us in Texas. In the beginning, I thought I pretty much had it all together. If you and I were chatting I would have told you I was “good.” Then the storm came.
One recent Saturday I was standing in our galley kitchen talking with my husband when I felt a flood of tears coming on. Rather than have a public tear fest right in my kitchen I retreated to my bedroom closet–I needed a moment to myself. I knelt down on this rug (that I don’t really love by the way) and sobbed my eyes out.
Through my tears, I told God how hard it was to hold everything together. Why am I the one holding it all together all the time? It is so hard to keep everything under control–my work schedule, my husbands work schedule, the kids’ schoolwork, our family routine, the family menu, cleaning, laundry--from the depths of my heart there was a fear that I would fail deeply in this season with such a great weight on my shoulders and I couldn’t carry it.
But in that very personal moment, my very personal God was with me. Right there in the middle of my messy closet on my knees with tears streaming down my face there came a gentle whisper, “Hey, I’m the one that holds it all together, not you.” My heart melted and the tears flowing from pain turned to tears of relief and gratitude. He was with me, He heard my heart, and He gave me hope.
You see, the world out there was so crazy I had appointed myself Chief Controlling Officer of everything and everyone in my household–only, that wasn’t my role to establish. Have you ever done that? Taken on something that just wasn’t yours to take? I took on a job that was never meant for me–a burden only He can carry.
The fear I had is waning and when I feel the temptation to control I can look back on this faith-building moment with God and cling to Colossians 1:17 which says, He is before all things and in him, all things hold together. I’m not the glue holding everything together but as long as I bind to Him–He promises to be.
If we look back then at the dream we can see that God was showing me a picture of what it looks like to stand firm in the midst of chaos. Days before I needed it, He showed me what it looks like to experience peace within my soul when chaos is all around me. It is a physical picture of a spiritual reality. Even though I had no floor beneath my feet, the house itself was still standing.
Matthew 7:25 says, The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. The house I was standing in when I was dreaming had passed the test of winds, rains, and storms. It, like me, was still standing.
Friends, as followers of Jesus, you and I are that house! The bible tells us that we are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). Jesus is within us and He promises to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). When our life is built on daily encounters with His presence, God promises that we will prosper.
Chaos may be rampant in the world, but Jesus reigns in my heart! So, I can release the spirit of fear and receive His peace for my life, regardless of what is happening around me.
Our God is so faithful. He knows our situation. He knows exactly how we feel. He hears your hearts’ cry in every season and He is for you (Psalm 34:17). You can pass this test; we can pass this test in Jesus’ name. Is it hard? Yes! But our God is limitless. He is capable of producing miracles within us!
I’ll leave you with what has been one of my favorite Scriptures for this season. I want to encourage you to read it out loud and continually come back to it as often as your heart needs it.
When it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.James 1:2-4 (TPT)
Y’all, one of my best friends shared with me something I’d like to point out to you–the power is already within you— so let go of fear (control) and let His power be stirred up and released in this season as you stand firm. There is unrelenting power and joy when we choose to focus on God above and not the floor beneath.
WE FIND HOPE FOR OURSELVES WHEN WE ENCOURAGE OTHERS. WHO DO YOU NEED TO SHARE HOPE WITH TODAY?