A Run of Crazy Dreams

Despite all the turmoil in my life at the moment, I seem to be having some precious times with God. Dreaming dreams and seeing visions...

And afterward,
   I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
   your old men will dream dreams,
   your young men will see visions.
Joel 2:28 (and Acts 2:17)

As I’ve had both dreams and visions in the past week, that scripture makes me wonder whether I am in fact like a sort of Schrödinger’s man - both young and old at the same time!

My vision is of fields of long green grass, waving gently in the breeze; blue skies dotted with puffy clouds; banks of fragrant wild flowers; lofty trees providing shade alongside lazy rivers; sheep baaing and bees buzzing.

I’ve had this same vision of bucolic loveliness in my head for about as long as I’ve been a Christian; it’s a place where my mind goes to find rest away from the cares of the world, and to meet with God. In my mind, it’s closely linked with the early verses of Psalm 23:

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
   he leads me beside quiet waters,
   he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23: 2-3

Finally, this week, I think I have a fresh understanding of what I’m seeing. I think that the vision is actually an image of heaven, or an expression in some way of the ‘Kingdom of God’.

It simply hadn’t occurred to me, until this week, that it could be a vision of heaven; I’ve been so influenced by the culture in which I’ve grown up and been educated - that heaven was all palaces and porticos; marble and mahogany; gold and gems - and I’d never stopped to consider that heaven might not be like a palace. When I think about it, I’m not sure all that opulence is really God’s ‘thing’ either - it certainly doesn’t seem to be the sort of place Jesus would have been comfortable, during His earthly ministry...

The universe God created (whether ‘recently’ as described in Genesis, or long, long, ago via some variant on a ‘Big Bang’) is full of beautiful marvels, to be sure; and the place He chose to meet with Adam and Eve (before the ‘fall’) was a beautiful, if perhaps somewhat wild and untamed, garden. So maybe my vision is a valid interpretation of what heaven might be like - or, at least, the bit of it which God may, by His grace, allow me to inhabit (and perhaps those who like the palatial view of heaven get, well, palaces in which to dwell?).

And so, staying with my theme, I wonder whether those early verses of Psalm 23 might also be a vision of heaven, or one aspect of it? Maybe heaven means different things to different people, but my vision, and that little section of Psalm 23, sums up what heaven means to me very nicely.

The bit about ‘right paths’ in verse 3 also seems to link to another favourite image of mine - that painted by the prophet Isaiah:

And a highway will be there;
   it will be called the Way of Holiness;
   it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
   wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there,
   nor any ravenous beast;
   they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
   and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
   everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
   and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Isaiah 35: 8-10 (but read from verse 1 to get the full effect!)

I hope that this all paints a picture for you too!

God bless you.

Copyright © Phil Hendry, 2020