I had another dream about the devil this weekend–this one, less frightening than the last. I’m a vivid dreamer and so when these kinds of dreams ripple the calm of my sleep, I’m not usually surprised. This one in particular had some interesting symbolism, (most of which I won’t share here because to you, it would make no sense).
But, there is one aspect of this dream that I will share with you now, only because it is for all of us.
In my dream, the enemy was continually reminded of his limitations. I didn’t see God in my dream, but His presence was real and as in the book of Job, where the Lord gives permission for satan to afflict Job, so to was the devil in my dream limited. He wanted to do this, but God said he could only do that–and so on. I watched, as one sometimes does in dreams, as God continually told the enemy “no“.
No matter how overwhelming the dark may seem in our lives, God is brighter and bigger and over all things. God allows what He allows and we don’t always get to know why. But we can be certain always that no evil has befallen us that God doesn’t know about.
I can’t explain why God ultimately allows the vast array of pain and torment that exists in this broke down place. Job never did learn the reason for his own loss. We learn from Job, that while God allowed the enemy to destroy everything he cared about most, God never abandoned him in his suffering.
When the enemy threatens our life, and the things we love most in the world are taken from us, we may ask why. We may weep for days that bleed into months and then years later, still break down when we remember the loss, but in the midst of it, we give thanks.
We hold hands to heaven and bless God for never abandoning us.
We bless His name for who He is.
We can give thanks in the face of a life that comes unhinged because God is good and works all things for good for those who love Him. Both grief and gratitude can coexist. I have lived this.
It is possible to express gratitude for the character of God, while mourning the content of our suffering.
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. Job 1:20 Esv
Counting on beyond my 1000 Gifts
- a bathroom re-do complete (hallelujah!)
- lingering cool(er) weather
- 2 books on my shelf read
- family dinner
- quiet time
- the hard re-shuffling of priorities
- generous emails from sweet friends when I need them most
- grass between my toes
- little boys who offer water to neighbors working in the heat without my prompting
- little girls in dress-up clothes