Have you ever had a really great nightmare? The kind where you wake up screaming and racing with all your heart though you’re perfectly still; the kind where you never want to go back to sleep but you’re afraid of staying awake too? There is no good thing you can do at this point. Your night is ruined and so is your day…whenever it happens to come. You don’t know how to feel any more; you’re not sure you can trust whether what you perceive is real or not.
It seems there is nothing to do but wait. Wait to see if the emotions go away and the horrible memory recedes. Or, perhaps it is wait and see if your nightmare comes true. Either way, you wait is intense. You do nothing; you’re paralyzed. Nothing else occupies your mind until this pressing matter is resolved.
But, what will it take to resolve it? Will you wait in vain? Will you ever decide what could be a happy ending?
A nightmare can be one of the most rattling things. Especially when it occurs within the bounds of real life. There is no escaping. No relaxing. No pulling back and reflecting. It is all adrenaline and reflex. There is really no room for anything else. You’re trying to get out alive.
So, what is our hope when a nightmare seizes us in real life? Can the captive of such a monster ever get free again? Is there a prescription for such things? What does the Bible say about it?
For one thing, the Psalmist gives loads of examples of this. He complains about his friends becoming his enemies. Job talks about how it would have been better for him to not have been born. Paul brings us into his hardships and shipwrecks that stripped him of so much…yet left his faith untouched. Even Jesus experienced the nature of nightmares with us. In fact, His greatest nightmare was because of us, for us, and something that goes beyond any experiences we’ll ever of abandonment and terror. He screams in agony, “It is finished.”
What implications can we draw from Christ’s nightmare that might give greater insight to ours. Are they comparable?
Yes, more than so. This descent Christ made into death and complete separation from apart from God was more devastating to Him than anything we will experience on this side of eternity. He stepped into the eternity that would be ours (hell) so that by believing in Him we might not experience the nightmare of going there ourselves.
Truly God is familiar with nightmares. Even better, He is familiar with our nightmares. He bids us walk with Him in the ones that yet surround us. He welcomes us to find joy in the fact that He has entered them with us and promises to redeem them–to make them reflect His glory in hope. He asks only that we let Him decide what will be the final outcome of our nightmares. If He can make our reconciliation with Him the outcome of Christ’s nightmare, surely He must be availing Himself of grace in His resolution of our nightmares!
Wikipedia: Can may refer to: The term ‘can’ entered the vernacular some time at the turn of the century, it was first used when beer was predominately drunk out of cans, drinkers would refer to a beer as a can eg ‘pass us a can thanks Liv’. →