by Shelby Smith
Sometimes, it’s impossible not to have a heavy heart. Life isn’t always jolly, and you’re not always ready to take whatever it throws at you. These past few weeks haven’t been easy for anyone–not me, my friends, the folks in my Bible group, and likely not for you, the one reading this. I’ll admit I’ve had it pretty easy, and I’ve had a few ups as well, but my anxious thoughts refused to let me go carefree. The summertime heat had been overbearing, and the book I’ve spent about 5 months working on wasn’t exactly piecing together. I laid still in bed, letting my mind ramble on. It asked the usual “Are you sure you’re right with God?” and “Even if you are, what about your loved ones? Will you see them in Heaven?” The lingering heat in the night only made me more agitated. It took hours, but I finally drifted off to sleep, only after praying about it all, as usual. I normally don’t dream, but when I do, I dream of something confusing, morbid, or even a little sinister. I never liked dreaming, because I very rarely dream something I enjoy. Yet this time, I did, and I’ve been holding onto the memory for days. Telling you every detail would be too long, so to sum it all up: my parents had taken me to a church event, where tons of people were gathered. I recognized some as close and distant family members, but the rest I didn’t know, yet I felt comfortable in their presence. Crowds make me tense, but this one didn’t. I was with those I love, and the event was a joyous one. The decorations on the walls and the snow softly glowing outside the church let me know it was Christmas. There was no unbearable heat, and the sky was one to behold, too. The thin and wispy clouds absorbed the light yellows from the sun, blending them in nicely with their own soft grays and blues. The unique, glassy sky is one of the best things the winter season can offer. The next morning, I didn’t think much of what I had dreamt about. As far as I knew, it was just another dream–but I didn’t wake up feeling muddled or disturbed. When I reflected it throughout the day, I felt a strong sense of peace, like perhaps I wasn’t as distant from God as I thought. I can count on one hand how many dreams I’ve had that impacted me in a positive way. It might’ve just been a dream, but I like to think it was more. Suddenly, my problems weren’t as big as they seemed. I started studying more efficiently, and I thought of an idea to glue everything in my book back together. And just this morning there was a chill in the air, and Mom and I both noticed the trees beginning to shed their leaves. Even though everyone’s troubles continued on, I felt more at peace with it all. God has left several subtle reminders that He’s still here, just like His word affirms. One day, all of His people will be gathered together back home, with old friends and new faces, all being familiar and comforting. There won’t be any distress in His presence. What we worry and groan about on this earth will be no more. In Heaven, everyone will hold a peace I similarly had in my dream. Only Heaven’s will be an even stronger one.
And it’s all thanks to Jesus Christ and the blood He shed for us on the cross.