Ever have one of those dreams that wakes you from sleep with a racing heart and rapid breathing, grasping in the darkness as if you are fighting something that isn’t there?
That is how I woke up this morning. Shaken.
Maybe that’s one of the consequences of having a past where darkness was prevalent?
Maybe it’s one of the blessings?
I haven’t had one of these dreams in a long time, but when I do, a couple of things happen.
- I am taken back to a time where I felt utterly lost and fear was my guide.
- I reach for Chris and confirm what is real in this moment.
- I pray.
There was a time when these sort of dreams were very disturbing to me. In attempts to gain a new perspective, I asked someone who I respect a great deal, what I should do with this feeling that tends to shadow me throughout the day?
This was her response, (as my mind remembers it anyway),
“Where it can be scary to wrestle with demons, especially those from the past, it is a good thing. It reminds us of where we have been, how far we have come and what God has done for us that we could not do for ourselves. Do not look at these dreams as a negative thing. Ask God what He wants you to do with it. Thank Him for life as you know it, today, in this moment. Thank Him for your present reality. And then live. We cannot allow fear to paralyze us, when the Creator Himself has called us to life.”
I believe that.
I also believe that we are fighting against something far greater than our memory of a troubling event.
We are fighting the master of darkness.
Okay, I know, it sounds dramatic and a little hokey if you aren’t a big fan of the bible and what has been sprinkled throughout about powers unseen…good and bad.
And maybe I’m still half asleep, but I cannot help but look to God’s word in times like these and the passage that consistently comes to mind is this one;
“And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own.” Ephesians 6:12 (The Message)
For those of us who grew up in church it read something like this;
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (New International Version)
I don’t remember ever hearing this passage from a church pew.
Maybe it’s because I wasn’t always paying attention or it could because IT FREAKS PEOPLE OUT!
There are few pastors who are willing to talk about the hard things and not just focus in on the wonderful, uplifting parts of the bible or the verses that talk about giving them more money.
This is one of the many reasons why I love my church.
I could walk in today, recall that which I have said here to any one of those who I consider leaders within the church and instead of looking at me like I have 3 heads, they would guide me through it in a way that I could understand, not downplaying the reality of this spiritual realm that most of us walk around completely oblivious to.
I don’t enjoy those nights when I fall asleep and wrestle the darkness.
I am however encouraged, as it reminds me that I must exercise my spiritual muscles.
Though the battle is already won, the fight is not yet over.