Back in the cancer days, I had one of those dreams in which you know you’re dreaming. I was sitting on the ground of a dark desert. The red sky made it look like Mars, though a hot, unrelenting wind was blowing.
Tears were streaming through the dust on my face. I thought I had failed God somehow, and this was where my choices had brought me—a cancerous wilderness. I knew he didn’t give me lymphoma, and he didn’t send me here. He doesn’t do things like that. But I thought my failures had somehow let it in and this was the result.
Then, footsteps. I knew it was Jesus, but I didn’t want to look up and face him. I thought this dream was going to be about him telling me the ways I’d screwed up, and why I was here. I just hoped he’d point me in the direction out of here.
He stopped, put out his hand, and lifted me up. He had the most amazing smile you’ve ever seen.
We walked and talked, but he never mentioned my faults, or even the cancer. He talked about all the ways he’s been blessing me my whole life, all the transformative, beautiful, and funny moments. We laughed, and we both shed tears. My perspectives of my life began to change. Rather than despair and pain, with every word he spoke I could see more grace and hope. I had the thought that they were wine and bread, and I could eat them to strengthen me in this place.
We seemed to have walked many miles. Despite the transformation that was happening in my soul, I was getting concerned that we were still in the wilderness, without an exit in sight. I finally asked him, “Jesus, I’m so, so grateful for this time together. But I thought you were showing me the way out of here. I’m not afraid of this place anymore, but where does it end?”
He looked at me and smiled. “Rob, don’t you understand what’s been happening? Turn around.” Everything behind us had become forests and meadows and streams and blue skies and life. Then I woke up.
What you see ahead may look dark and daunting. But he’s with you. He’s always with you. So keep going, and in time what he’s doing in you will change what’s going on around you.