For many years of my life I never expected to hear God's voice. But as I'm maturing in my faith, I now realize that God is always speaking to His children. He speaks to us through the Bible, prayer, other people, the church and through our circumstances. He sometimes even speaks to us through our dreams.
For seven years my husband, Phil, worked a job that required a lot of traveling. One summer he was working on a project in Ft. Myers, Florida, and his company paid for our family to go there and stay with him. They rented a beautiful condo for us. The view from the condo was of a gorgeous pond with a fountain. At night the pond was lit up and it also had a walking path around the perimeter of it. It was such a blessing to be able to stay in such a lovely place.
One night, while we were there, I had a dream. My mind was troubled by this dream. I couldn't remember the details of the dream, but I knew it had something to do with my daughter and that she was hurt. It was 1:00 am. and I got up and went into the room where my children were sleeping. I prayed for God to protect them. I asked Him to tell me what was wrong. By the time I got back to bed I knew exactly what it was. There was an alligator in that pond and I wasn't suppose to take my children near it.
I didn't say anything to anyone about that dream until two weeks later. One afternoon the kids and I were going to the swimming pool. We normally would walk along the path by the pond to get to the pool because it was a shortcut. After I had the dream I decided we should walk along the road to get to the pool, even though it was a longer distance. My kids never questioned the change in route. Then one day, while going to the pool, my son asked if we could walk along the pond. I told my children that I had a dream that there was an alligator in that pond and to play it safe we should take the road instead.
Later that evening, Phil came home from work. When he first walked in he told us that there was a warning sign posted down by the elevator. It said that there was an alligator in the pond and to keep small children away from it. The kids and I couldn't believe what he just said. They told their dad, "Mom just told us that she had a dream there was an alligator in the pond". I never mentioned that to him before so he was surprised.
According to Arlyn Lawrence in her article "Was That You, Lord?" from the Pray! Magazine (Nov-Dec 2007 issue), she says, "God primarily uses dreams to
- warn us
- give us direction
- encourage or comfort us
- prepare us for something
- give us His perspective on something about which we may have a blind spot
- call us to intercession
- give us specific supernatural insight about how to pray for a person or situation"
She also says, "How can you discern which of your dreams are from God? ...'God dreams' are sharper and more poignant than regular ones. When I've had such dreams, I have the immediate sense that there was more to it... I feel compelled to ask, Was that You, Lord?" (page 48).
I've come to realize that this experience was not spooky. There are many references of God speaking to people through dreams (Genesis 31:11-12, 37:5, Numbers 12:6, 1 Kings 3:5, Matthew 1:20, 2:13). God also said that in the last days He would pour out His Spirit on His people and they would dream and have visions (Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:16-17). He doesn't speak to everyone through dreams, but if He does speak to us we need to be careful to pay attention to Him and respond in faith.
What a wonderful time we had in Florida that summer! My children especially loved the beach and the water. I especially loved the fact that we never saw that alligator!
Lord, I thank you for the special time you gave us that summer. Thank you for how you speak to us and warn us of danger. Help us to always respond when You speak. In Jesus' name. Amen.
April 5, 2008