Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Dwelling Place

“Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.  The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?  The Lord is on my side as my helper I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.  All nations surrounded me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!  They surrounded me; surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!  I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.  The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.” Ps. 118:5-14

Two days ago, I woke up with the title, “Your Dwelling Place,” and I sat and wrote hours of material.  Just as I was journaling this chapter this morning, I prayed, “God, let this be your message, not mine.”  Then suddenly, without warning, my fingers tore over my keyboard, and the old material was set off to the side.  Here is your real message; from the Holy Spirit, entitled, “Your Dwelling Place.”

On September 22, I had a dream which, in my best estimation, should be called “Your Dwelling Place.”   In the dream, I stood in a field while an unknown person leaned over and whispered in my ear, “A swarm of bees is coming.  Take cover quickly now!”  I looked off to see my children playing far from me, and with the resounding hum of bees approaching, I screamed with no time for explanation, “Get down and cover your faces!”  Once I finished my frightened directive, I too had to take the same position of safety.  The swarm of bees covered me like honey, swarmed around me, and perched on every ounce of my body, all the while stinging.  The buzzing of their wings rang in my ears, increasing my level of terror.  All I could think was whether my children had heeded my instruction with no explanation to them.  Every time I resided in that fearful abode, I was repeatedly stung like a penance.  As my mind sprinted with anxiety, more stinging came.  Alas, I surrendered to it all: the fear, the pain, and that frenzied need to control the situation.  I finally set my mind on the dwelling place—with Christ Jesus in Heavenly places.  I mentally gave up my temporary habitation, supernaturally.

It was at that point that the stinging abruptly ceased.  It was the removing of myself from this “temporary” dwelling and putting myself into the Everlasting from which I already reside, spiritually speaking.  I rested under what swiftly became a warm blanket of fortification rather than a blanket of torment.  I rested in my dwelling place, listening to my own soft breaths—in and out, in and out.

Bees… what a paradox.  We need them, but we should revere them.  They do God’s work by pollinating everything wonderful that we eat.  They are diligent, persistent, and loyal, even to death.   As a swarm, though, they are quick, deadly, and fierce.  When they make their appearance, it is sudden. Rarely do we have a minute’s notice to retreat.  Hence, my dream, “The Dwelling Place.”

Last year, we went on a camping trip with a group of friends to one of our local state parks.  The children were all playing and tromping around in the woods while the adults sat around a warm campfire.  Suddenly, an incessant shriek bellowed forth.  All the parents jumped up, looking in all directions.  Then, running swiftly, came one of the little boys with an angry swarm of bees ensuing behind.  They swarmed in and around him, stinging his scalp and embedding stingers in his skin, under his shorts, through his socks, and even inside his shoes.  There was no escape for him, or those of us who were slumbering near our cozy little campfire, since that is where he led the missile-carrying troops.  No amount of running, screaming, swatting, or adult intervention mattered.  Not only was the child stung something close to thirty times, but those who dared interfere were stung as well, including myself.

I believe God still reveals himself through dreams just as He did in times past.  It is not that I claim special knowledge, but what I will admit is that my life is centered on listening for His still small voice.  The Lord knows He has my undivided attention in the quietness of my dreams.  There are no electronic devices, no “Mama, Mama” diversions in my ear, and no Nightly News stories to distract me.

Perhaps this dream means trouble is coming to our nation; misfortune we will not be able to escape.  For application, let’s say I am that “unknown” person represented in the dream who leans over to whisper in your ear, “A swarm of bees is coming.  Take cover quickly now!” At this moment, you only have enough time to get the attention of your children with no time for explanation, and fewer moments to take cover yourself.  Whatever this “swarm of bees” symbolizes—it will come on us like a fast moving train.  Yes, here in the United States – hastily.  Our only alternative will be to crouch down, cover our faces, and pray.  We will have to completely and utterly trust Christ and not focus on the happenings going on about us.

I kept saying these confessions in my dream, “God is my refuge – my dwelling place. I trust Him whether I live or die, either way; I am delivered into His dwelling place.”  I pray that when our troubles come hurriedly, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we all can say the same, “He is my refuge – my dwelling place.”

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:1-3