Dreams. Most if not all of us have experienced the phenomenon of going to sleep and waking up the next morning with remembrances of a story that we remembered when we were sleeping the night before. Some of the dreams are wild and appear to be meaningless. Some dreams are started by conversations the previous day that we had with someone who triggers our dreams. It can be an experience we had with a dog the day before that causes us to dream about dogs and other kinds of animals.
Dreams are weird at times. They can be far-fetched. I had this recurring dream where I had signed up for a class but don’t remember going to this class. At the end of the semester I hadn’t done any work and I needed to take the final test but obviously wasn’t prepared. I couldn’t remember the days of the class but needed the class to graduate. That dream keeps me agitated throughout the night only to realize that in the morning, I am no longer in school and there will be no negative consequences for my inaction. Unfortunately I have dreamed that dream many times over the years.
Sometimes dreams aren’t remembered the next morning, or remember some vague thing about the dream but can’t remember the details that were so vivid when we were asleep. Sometimes we are a bystander just looking at the action, and sometimes we are actively involved in the story. Sometimes dreams can teach us something or tell us what we need to do as in the case of a story in Genesis that I read this morning.
The backdrop of the story is centered in a foreign country that Abraham and his family went to. Abraham was fearful that they would take his beautiful wife and kill him so he concocted a story that Sarah, his wife, was his sister. “Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace. But that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!” But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.” In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her. Now return the woman to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don’t return her to him, you can be sure that you and all your people will die.”” Genesis 20:2-7 NLT
This story and the interaction of Abimelech and God is taking place entirely in the dream that Abimelech. God does speak to us through the bible, but there are times that He can use a dream to get our attention or direct our steps as well. On this journey as you enter 2019, when dreams come into your thought process during sleep, make some mental notes as to how God my be using your sleep patterns to give guidance to your steps.