I can’t leave the topic of prophetic language without discussing dreams. Obviously not every dream is from God, many are forgotten or just a product of an over-active brain or digestive system! But God clearly does speak through and even visit us in dreams.
The spiritual world is so near. There is such a sense of awe when we touch it – or it touches us – or it speaks into our hearts in a way that bypasses all our reservations. That is so personal to each one of us. Perhaps dreaming is one of the most profound ways it can happen, because at night there is nothing else to get in the way – we are totally at rest and so can be spiritually alert: our souls can’t interfere with the message. The problem comes in interpretation – again! Dreams are full of strange symbols and mixed up images: just look at the ones in the Bible that Daniel and Joseph had to interpret (Daniel 2 and Genesis 40-41) But it is like any prophetic mystery – Scripture along with wisdom and revelation can give us the keys.
Though I do not dream often, I have had a good number of very significant and directive dreams over the years, which have been invaluable in making decisions or confirming choices. When I look back I am surprised how many there have been! Keeping written records is, of course, as with all prophetic insights, essential – especially with dreams, that are so quickly forgotten. I am not an expert in the field – though there are some who are very gifted in this area. But here are just a couple of fairly recent ones that speak into where I find myself at the moment…
About 3-4 years ago I dreamt I was in a car, driving along a main road. I was in the driver’s seat, but there were no controls! I had no pedals and no steering wheel. The older lady in the passenger seat on my left didn’t have any either. There was a well-known prophet in the back seat so I thought ‘he must be driving’. But of course I then realised he couldn’t be because he was in the back! We approached a huge, black cloud over the road and torrential rain started to fall: as we drove into it the rain came right into the car and I curled up in a ball in my seat.
That is quite a scary dream… I felt afraid in it. It was hard to understand! I knew the people in the car, senior figures in the prophetic and prayer ministry, perhaps they represented the ‘mothers and fathers’. I was seeking to follow the word of the Lord in my life (the prophet being a back-seat driver?) and was in some measure of partnership with the prayer lady next to me. I suppose it should not be a surprise that I was not in control of the car. The car is a vehicle, so it often represents ‘ministry’ or our work – the thing that carries us, that gets us around… so surely the Lord is the One Who should be driving that! How could I be in control? But then we hit the rainstorm, and far from being protected from it, immune from it, it came right into my life…
In another vivid dream at the end of last year I was out walking on a hillside when it started to rain. I took shelter in a cave in a rock on the top of a hill (strange because caves are usually at the bottom of hills). As I went inside some other people – a couple and a woman with a dog – passed me and passed right inside the back of the cavern, while I stayed near the exit. Suddenly a fall of large boulders came right through the cave from the back, covering the people and blocking off the entrance. The small dog came running back to me. The dog and I were left in our rock prison with only two small windows above my head letting in the light and air – big enough for the dog to fit through if I lifted it above my head, but not me.
In many ways I have found myself trapped in a prison by a ‘sudden rock fall’ since Sam’s diagnosis: yes the rain has come into the car! What was a safe place has become a trap: I cannot get out, I cannot escape, I need an angel to move the stone. All I can do is wait. Yet in this place I know the companionship of the Lord. In fact I am convinced that the dog – woman’s best friend, comforter, anagram of ‘god’ – represents the Holy Spirit! He can fit through the ‘windows of communication’ and I have found release in sharing my heart both through this blog and in other ways. So although it is another rather scary dream, in the middle of our difficult family situation there is a sense of being known, fore-known, and provided for. As the disciples found, prison can be a place of praise, where chains fall off and angels appear to bring deliverance (Acts 12 and 16).
One day a dear old friend was on her way out of her door to visit me (in my prison!) when she felt the Lord tell her to bring the small soft toy dog she had at home. When I told her this dream she knew why! Now I have a constant reminder on my bed every night: the Lord is with me and He knows the language I understand!
You may think this is childish – and it is. But God knows that when I was a little girl I had a toy dog (not as nice as this one!) and was really upset when my father threw it away in the dustbin… My Daddy knows how to comfort His little girl.