Friday, October 11, 2013

31 Days of Listening {to Myself}

I woke up this morning with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I had such an off the wall dream last night {induced, no doubt, by my pregnant state} that it took a while to break it down and think about why it made me so deeply sad and yet hopeful and full of joy and longing at the same time.

I was going to tell you about the specifics, but as I sat here typing it out, I realized how insane it would sound and maybe even a little disrespectful since part of my dream involved a deceased family member coming back to life. During their funeral.

It's sufficient enough to say that I miss this relative. A lot. Dreams have a funny way of giving life to the desires in our hearts - places that have sat empty and seem to have healed over and lay dormant suddenly spring to life and stir up emotions we didn't think we had anymore. Longing. Ache. Loneliness. Sadness.

So much changed in our family after this particular relative died. In my dream, when this person came back to life, part of my joy was simply in seeing and having the chance to interact and talk with this person again. But a large part of my joy was watching my family be reunited with this person, too. And in a way some of the hard things that have happened since then were erased by the resurrection within my dream.

I don't think it was just a crazy dream. I think it says something about my interior life. About my desire for life where there is death - physically but also relationally and spiritually. There's the obvious desire to see those we love who have passed away from life on this earth and into eternity. But there's a longing in each of us to see the things that have been destroyed or stolen or torn apart be restored and resurrected. Whether it's a physical body or a relationship.

We are promised that this will happen one day - that when Christ comes back, we will experience a New Heaven and a New Earth (see 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1). This world won't be destroyed and obliterated. Christ is going to make it new - He made it once and sin stained it. But He's coming again, to make it new and perfect and this time it's for good. This used to bring me great anxiety - the final judgement. As I've learned that I truly am secure in Christ and saved simply by faith in what He did for me on the cross and by conquering death by his resurrection, I've shifted from fear to hope. I long for the day that He comes back (or takes me home). I long to see suffering, pain, separation, death and injustice done away with and replaced with peace, joy, togetherness, contentment, wholeness, and perfection. I long for the restoration and reconciliation of all things and all people. I long for resurrection.

I could have dismissed my dream as crazy, but instead I listened to it. That longing for resurrection seemed to be the theme and I think it's important to listen to the longing of our souls when they present themselves. This particular longing - for resurrection - it points to what Christ is going to do. It's an empty feeling ache right now because the resurrection I desire in so many ways and areas of my life and the lives of those I love hasn't happened yet. I have a firm hope in God's Word that it is coming, though. I am so thankful for that blessed hope.

Romans 8:23-25 says "...we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

Titus 2:11-14 says "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."

Hebrews 9:26-28 says "But he {Christ} has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."

Jude 1:20-21 encourages us "But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life."

And so I wait patiently for the blessed hope, with eager anticipation for my adoption and the redemption of this body.

No comments: