One of the things I find most fascinating are peoples’ faith stories – their personal interactions with the God of the universe. I’ve had only a couple of these intense, life-altering experiences myself, but they are moments that keep coming back to me in significant ways.
Now, when you start telling people you’ve had a personal interaction with God, many of them roll their eyes or wonder if there’s something wrong with you, or chalk it up to a dream. I’ve had my share of strange dreams - I’ve driven a dump truck to work, I’ve lived in a box at my old house, grown power tools in my vegetable garden – so I know a dream when I see one. But this felt nothing like a dream, not while it was happening, and certainly not afterward.
Quite some time ago, I went to bed one night, extremely upset about something that happened at work. I knew I’d be up all night ruminating it, and fretting about it. I’m sad to say, prayer, or God in general, never entered my mind. I closed my eyes, and after a few hours of tossing, turning, and anguishing, found myself on a subway car, which was interesting since I’ve never been on a subway car. I walked through the crowded corridor looking for a quiet place to sit, but didn’t find one, so I moved to the next car, and the next, and the next, looking for my quiet place to sit down and get some sleep. The crowd began to thin out eventually, and on an otherwise empty car, I passed a gentlemen sitting on one side of the aisle, absorbed in his newspaper. I walked past him a couple of rows to the end of the car, and started to take a seat. As I took a passing glance back at the man, he looked up at me with a smile that was pure evil, and a blood-chilling look in his eyes. I knew at that moment there was no place I could go to get away from the torment.
As quickly as that happened, I looked the other direction and saw another man, this one radiated extreme strength, and extreme tenderness at the same time. My eyes were locked in awe with His. I started to look away from Him long enough to see Satan take his newspaper and leave, but He took my face in His hands and turned it back towards Him, and said, “Keep Your Eyes On Me.” At that point, I drifted off into one of the most peaceful, restful nights of sleep I’ve ever had, worries or not.
Call it a dream if you like but I’ve never gotten such good counsel from a dream, and I’ve remembered that advice many times over the years.
1) Run from evil.
2) Remember, there’s only one place to find real refuge from anything life has to dish out.
3) Satan will try to torment you, but in the end, he knows he’s no match for Christ.
4) No matter how weary and beat-down you are, He is tender and knows how to take care of you.
5) And most of all, Keep Your Eyes on Him.