Where is the place of my rest?

I had this strange dream. It is perhaps a hard one to break but may the Lord help us. The interpretation offered below is not meant to be exhaustive, but it is as the Lord has illumed to me today.

There may be a word or a nugget for someone and may the Lord (as always) direct his work & word in truth. As one author puts it ‘love is always behind everything God does’ and he shows us dreams, thus directing our paths, and to help us to continue to pursuing Him in holiness.

Dream

I dreamt I was propping up my Father and taking him out for something to eat. It was late and many of the eateries where he could eat were closed – the dream emphasized that they were ‘no longer open’ . This appeared to be as a result of famine or a pandemic. It was night time. My father was lame and resting heavily on my shoulder. I sensed as I walked that people were wondering at the spectacle – that is: this young woman struggling (almost carrying) , this very old disabled tall elderly ‘black man’ but I wasn’t ashamed, he was my Father.

We approached an eaterie/pub that was open but had large crowds waiting. I knew I could jump the queue if I had asked (given my Fathers state) but I reasoned that he wouldn’t be able to cope with the crowds or the mayhem or what the people might culturally have to offer there. I went out to the back kitchen to see if there was food I could take out , but I saw that those who were serving were binning even the good food and there was nothing available.

That was the dream .

Interpretation

Interpretations belong to God and this dream is very strange. The Lord uses similes and symbols to speak with us and He has taught me all I know about dreams to this point and by his blessed Holy Spirit. It is a word that can be taken individually and a word I believe for the Body.

There are a number of things that jump out for me which is worthy of note. It was a black man that carried Jesus’ cross through the city as he was being taken to his death on Calvary.

The dreams speaks of burden bearing and taking the message of the cross through the streets. Here also is a picture :

For surely ‘He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment ], yet we [ignorantly ] considered Him stricken , smitten, and afflicted by God[as if with leprosy] . But he was wounded for our transgressions , He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us, was upon Him and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole’ Isaiah 53:4-5 AMPC

The dream raised the issue of those spectating and embarrassed about what they were seeing – they scorned at his suffering and shame . But I say it was the Apostle Paul who said, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ , it is the power of God unto salvation. (Romans 1:16 ) .

Jesus was bruised and broken as He navigated those streets to his death. He did this for us. Not many ran to his aid save (we are told) Simon of Cyrene who incidentally was a black man.

The way of the cross is open for all and is not about color but I need not comment on the experience of this group of my forebears in history and our Father will make redress in time.

Significantly, I believe the dream points to the duty of bearing the burden and hear of the day and carrying the cross as He did.

What is the cross?

For sure, it is as Jesus taught . It is about denying yourself, standing in the gap for others, healing the broken hearted and setting captives free – it is about showing mercy to the poor and dejected. It is about giving assistance to the halt, the lame and the blind. This was the symbolism in the dream not necessarily about my earthly Father, who is now at rest. The dream also shows the role females continue to play in bringing the message of the cross. Jesus had and continues to have special compassion for the widow and the fatherless.

The dream reminds me also of Mary and Joseph seeking a place for the Messiah to be born. The Lord continues to look for a place that is worthy, where he can find rest, eat and where his soul can be satisfied.

It was the Lord who implored through the prophet Isaiah , ‘..heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool (but) where is the house that ye build me and where is the place of my rest ?’ Isaiah 66:1.

Elsewhere in the book of Haggai, the Lord rebuked Israel for making and dwelling in cieled houses, when his own house, was left laying to waste. The prophet went on to warn of a time of famine coming, despite the labor and efforts that the people had put in. The prophet admonished that whilst they were working hard (dead works) their substance was being put into ‘a bag with holes’ and there was an urgent need for them to consider their ways. (seeHaggai 1:4 and onwards).

I want to say that God doesnt need our help or our religiosity to build. He wants us to submit and surrender to his ways and walk the road he walked to the cross. He is seeking a place of rest.

It was interesting to see the crowds waiting outside this public house jostling for position and place. It was clearly a time of desperation as we have seen in this generation and our time. I believe it is only a small reflection of what is still yet to come. May the Lord help us and give us to grace to stand. May we never be found wanting or waiting in the wrong queue.

The Bible warns that wide is the way that leads to destruction and many there be that find it , but narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7 :13-14) . In the last days many will be running to and fro seeking refuge and rest and the word of God, but cannot find it.

There was a distinct check in the dream not to go into this place, even though it would have given us respite but it wasn’t the Lord’s house and I feared my Father would have again been bruised. Many of us continue to bruise the Lord by the wrong choices that we make.

There have been many creative ideas to extend kingdom in our time, but we must take care that we are not deceived and to be careful where our feet take us ie not to mix or have fellowship with unbelievers. In the dream , there was potential room at this inn, but it was not appropriate to take Father there.

The Bible warns that we ‘….cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of the devils , (we) cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and the table of devils’. 1 Corinthians 10:2. It is the Holy Spirit that will draw souls and we don’t need to stoop to the dictates of the world or try this or that just to fit in. Our Father will make and give us provision and our meat in due season. Let Him lead us where He will.

It was concerning to see good food being thrown out by those serving . I think simply put, the dream is saying a couple of things , warning us about not giving what is holy to dogs (Matthew 7:6 ; 15:26 and Mark 7:27) , to remember the poor and to be careful how we use what He (our God) blesses us with.

Many are seeking, looking for food and I don’t think this relates to just physical food alone. Many are seeking the unadulterated word of God but there is a dearth and famine as the scriptures had already warned us there would be in the last days.

James 2: 15 tells us ‘if a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food and we say ‘depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled, yet we give them nothing needful for the body, what does that profit us ?‘. How often have we seen or experienced this in our time and been guilty too of not going that step further. It is not of God to see the need and just pray or say ‘I will pray’ and not attend to the need when we have it by us. We have to reach out and come out of our ceiled houses and also from behind our screens, to see or meet with our brother or sister and minster to their needs. May the Lord help us as we reflect on how we might have been.

It was the prophet Jeremiah in Lamentations who lamented on the Lord’s inheritance being turned to strangers and the Lord’s house to aliens, leaving many as orphans and fatherless and mothers as widows. Interestingly in the dream the color of my Father was significant to me – ‘a black man’ – I am black also, so the dream was pointing to deeper things and in context.

I have already commented on the man that helped to carry the burden of the cross, above. In Lamentations the color black is used as synonymous with famine which is what I had also picked up in the dream ie this was happening in a time of social distress and unrest.

I quote Jeremiah’s lament here Lamentation 5 verses 1- 18 for ease and as it is also a prayer for restoration

Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us:

consider, and behold our reproach.

Our inheritance is turned to strangers,

our houses to aliens.

We are orphans and fatherless,

our mothers are as widows.

We have drunken our water for money;

our wood is sold unto us.

Our necks are under persecution:

we labour, and have no rest.

We have given the hand to the Egyptians,

and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.

Our fathers have sinned, and are not;

and we have borne their iniquities.

Servants have ruled over us:

there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand.

We gat our bread with the peril of our lives

because of the sword of the wilderness.

Our skin was black like an oven

because of the terrible famine.

They ravished the women in Zion,

and the maids in the cities of Judah.

Princes are hanged up by their hand:

the faces of elders were not honoured.

They took the young men to grind,

and the children fell under the wood.

The elders have ceased from the gate,

the young men from their musick.

The joy of our heart is ceased;

our dance is turned into mourning.

The crown is fallen from our head:

woe unto us, that we have sinned!

For this our heart is faint;

for these things our eyes are dim.

Because of the mountain of Zion

My own prayer

Father we thank you for your word. At the entrance of your word is light.

Thank you for you desire us to walk as you walked and live as you lived here on earth and without compromise. Thank you that you have chosen us to bear the cross with you and our desire is to do as you would wish us. To go where you send and to not be afraid of the faces of men.

Thank you Lord that through love you were bruised for our iniquities and the chastisement of our peace laid on you and by your stripes we are healed . We declare we are not ashamed of bearing your cross or the gospel which is the power of God , our Father unto salvation, to the Jew first and to the Gentiles.

Lord you seek all those who desire to know you. You are no respecter of persons. Let those that seek you find you.

Lord helps us to use what you have given us well not to throw what is holy to dogs, but to distribute to all fairly.

Lord we see in our time how sin is represented across our society and as Jeremiah prayed above , both princes and politicians are caught up in scandal , children and women in peril, there is much darkness and the crown has fallen from many heads.

Lord as you help us to consider our ways, forgive where we have fallen short of your glory. Where we have paid lip service to others and traded things to fit in with the crowd and the call of this world. Help us in this dark hour to wait on you and not to seek to build our own empires. To shine as your sons and daughters continuing to bear the cross and despising not the shame.

Lord we want to make room for you , to find you a place of rest with us, in our hearts.

Move us out of the way where we cause road blocks and frustrate the gospel, leaving many destitute for your fresh and Holy word.

These and other mercies I ask in your Name

Your daughter

15/1/22

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