Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas-time Norah
From Nightmares to Dreams

I don’t put too much stock in dreams… maybe that’s because I can’t ever really remember my dreams or maybe it’s because the ones I do remember are usually pretty stupid… a few nights ago I remembered one in which this guy I know named Chase had my favorite coat on, but he wouldn’t give it back, so I chased him through the city streets for a while. Then I guess I got bored or forgot about him and the coat and wound up playing Frisbee… see what I mean?

I’ve been thinking about Joseph lately and how he had so many crazy dreams on that first Christmas. You know, until he had that first angel-invaded dream, Joseph must have felt like he was trapped in a living nightmare… being so in love and so excited about being married, only to find out that his fiancé cheated on him and was now carrying the child of her infidelity. And he thought Mary was so awesome too… it must have left him brokenhearted and wondering, “Why?”

Sometimes when I think about my life, I wish it were only a dream because it sort of feels like I’m trapped inside a nightmare… I’m not talking about my family, my job or any of my friends or our money or anything… I’m talking about those moments in life when the curtain is pulled back and I really see who I am… when my selfishness, baseness, cruelty, pride and immaturity are exposed… when I see my sin for real. In those moments, when I really see what a mess I am, it feels like I’m stuck in a nightmare and can’t wake up…

Psalm 126 says, “When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.” It goes onto say that their tears were turned into songs of joy because of what the Lord has done… That’s what happened to Joseph. He laid his tear-stained face down one night to go to sleep and an angel showed up in a dream to turn those tears of sorrow into songs of joy, telling him that Mary wasn’t unfaithful but that the Messiah, the Son of God was growing inside her! His nightmares became like dreams and his heart was full of joy!

When I think of what God has done for me because of that little baby that was born to Mary and Joseph, it fills me with laughter and joy! Jesus has taken my sin, He has paid my price and given me new life, declaring me clean and righteous in Him and now He’s changing me, making me more like Him… He has done great things for us. He is turning our nightmares into dreams and our sorrow into song! Now we are forgiven and free, righteous and new, like people dreaming…

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