While in VA last week I had this dream:
I was running an obstacle course with an old friend of mine, the course was like a maze and we talked as we ran. Coming around a corner I found someone from the past that had significantly hurt me. As I saw this person & ran past I didn’t feel the pain from the old wound, but rather felt surprised and frustrated that the wound was there. This happened about 5-6 times, running through the maze I’d stumble upon a situation being replayed, or a person who I’ve been hurt by and each time my response was one of “I thought I’d dealt with this, why is it still there?”
Suddenly I was out of the maze and face to face with a couple whom I once had close relationship with but have suffered some betrayal from, and behind them was a boxing ring which the young man turned and climbed into. For the first time in the dream I felt anger and a sense of injustice at the betrayal. Looking back I realize that the anger was actually wounded pride.
Turning to my right I see my dad. He had been there for awhile and was watching my reaction, and in my anger I began to try to convince him to go in the ring and fight the guy on my behalf. I REALLY wanted him to do this for me, to avenge my pain and anger but he gently shook his head. His eyebrows drew together in a gentle but slightly disapointed look and he said ‘No’ but the message that I heard was “That’s not how I do things Christina”.
Hearing a loud noise I turn back to the boxing ring where a large crowd had gathered and were cheering. In the ring I did see the guy, and someone was beating him up pretty badly but rather than justified I felt a deep saddness for the pain he was suffering.
As I began to come out of the dream I could hear the Lord so clearly, and for several minutes lay there half awake and half asleep as Holy Spirit spoke over me like waves, simply saying “Forgive forgive forgive forgive forgive forgive forgive.”
It washed over me again and again. Katrina, my parents & I were sleeping in my brothers living room and I’d had ear plugs in to try and get the most out of the short hours. When I could finally sit up I pulled out the earplugs and opening my eyes saw my Father standing right in front of me. Reaching towards me with a smile he said “Chrissy I made you coffee.”
The dream was so clear, there are people and things in my heart that I have pushed away to stop feeling but my Father really wants for me to forgive them. He’s not going to go ‘beat up the bad guy’ for me, that’s not the way He does things. In fact HE is the one who is telling me to forgive the bad guy! While processing the dream with a friend she looked sharply at the end and said, ‘You know who was in the ring with him right? It was satan, God doesn’t beat us up but satan does” and as she said it I was overwhelmed with compassion for him.
That same day of the dream Bob Jones spoke at the conference and gave a word about forgiveness. He said that as he looked over the attendee’s he saw many war planes of all different shapes, sizes and purposes, but they were all parked on a landing strip instead of flying. All of them were ready to fly except that they were chained to the ground by cement blocks and the cement blocks was bitterness.
Needless to say it struck home. In His kindness our Father is encouraging us to reach deep into the wounds of our hearts and truly forgive, truly release to Him those who have hurt us. There was no joy in my soul as I watched this young man be pummeled in the boxing ring and I have been so intentional about praying on his behalf (and the others in the dream) over the last week, asking the Father of Glory to give them His Spirit and pour out His love over their hearts.
Oh Father, give me the strength to forgive those who have hurt me. Help me to repent for holding the wounds against them, and give me the strength to stand on their behalf.