Saturday, January 24, 2015

January 24th


Written May 27, 2013


I had an experience with Jesus that was as surreal and hard to understand as a dream, but I was awake.


I was with Jesus on the grass before the inner room, and He took me up into the sky. There were storm clouds and we passed up through and into them.


As this was happening, I kept remembering and hearing that the Eternal rides the clouds, the clouds go before Him, and so I was able to accept what I was caught up in.


The wind was whipping our hair around our faces and the lightening was striking within the cloud with all the superheated energy, causing the light to flash out in white against the silver and dark cloud mass. Although I was in awe of what I was seeing, I wasn’t afraid because I was in Jesus' arms and nothing was hurting me.


Then we began to sink down from the clouds, and down  further, and I saw below me the roofs of our new housing development.


That confused me; I’ve never been with Jesus and seen a place that I recognized from my physical life, so I held back out of fear, wondering what on earth was going on, and then I accepted and we went down and down until we stood on a sidewalk across from our building lot.


And again I was afraid and again I submitted to being there and I saw our house as if it were completed, even though it was still under construction. It looked attractive in neutral browns and greys, with interesting roof lines, just as it should look from the building plan, but rising up behind it and towering over it was this massive wooden structure.


Looking at it, I realized it was the prow of a boat- it was an ark, so massive it seemed almost to block out the sky and it seemed to be made of cedar wood varnished a deep red color and again I was afraid and again I made myself present.


As I watched, the ark entirely crushed the new house. It happened in one moment, without warning. I didn't want to see it this way- it was unsettling and unexpected- but I saw it again, so I let the house go. It was completely gone. There was only the prow of the ark filling the sky.


We rose up into the sky and I saw our tiny figures against the massive prow of this ark as we went up. Then we were above the deck and looking down, but the deck was full of holes or was dissolving as I looked, so that I could see down in.


The interior of the ark was sloshing with water, absolutely right up to the rim, and at this sight, again I was afraid. I felt a great deal of fear, looking down into that water and I remembered a nightmare I had had as a child, that the floor of the gym was opening up beneath my feet and people were falling into the chasm that was revealed.


For a moment, I struggled with this fear and with what I was seeing, as though I were wrestling with it.


But I knew what I had to do- I had to surrender to Jesus, who was right with me. I had to open my hands, as it were, and release the fear and my desire to control and cling only and completely to Jesus and to trust Him.


So I let go and accepted simply being there with Him and accepted what I was seeing. As I released my fear, the entire ark burst.


The water burst out from every side and cascaded out in a massive flood over the entire housing development and it swept all the houses away, leaving nothing but water soaked ground glistening under the sun.


And then it was over, and Jesus was taking me back home to the inner room, and I asked Him, "What does it mean?"


Jesus said that the wooden house represented security in this life- in the things we have and what we do and how we appear. Jesus also said that seeing the holes in the deck had to do with fear of death and that is why I remembered my nightmare, but that it was not symbolizing my physical death, but a different kind of dying.


Which makes sense, because when I released my fear of death by faith in Jesus, that is when the ark burst. And the ark represents Christ, who rescues us from death and is the source of the living water, the living water that overwhelms the small, surface life.


It was strange that the ark held the flood, whereas before in the account of Noah, the ark rode on the flood. What does this reversal mean?


If the ark is Christ, then He is come bringing pure life. It’s a reversal of life over death. Instead of the water bringing death, this water is eternal life. The fear of death is absorbed into Him- broken open, His life sweeps away the smallness of our present preoccupation with appearances and possessions, creating water-soaked ground that is ready for growth of new things.


At the beginning, it can feel frightening, because we become attached to facades and begin to think it's really our life, so it feels like death when we stand tiny before the power of the life of God, the depths of which go far beyond anything we knew before, but when we are willing to surrender, no matter how frightening it is, because the loss of the fa├žade reveals the true, eternal life.


The fear is lying- don't remain there. Let go, take hold of Jesus, and pass through.


*


Last night, I took His hand and was walking with Jesus from one room to the other, and then I realized again whose hand I was holding. I turned and looked at Jesus and delight washed over me and left me shy.


I paused and leaned against the door frame, feeling faint with delight and shyness and wonder, letting the whole experience saturate into me, and then I threw my arms around Him and poured out my adoration and gratitude in a wordless rush.


We were walking back to the house, and at the entrance to the narrow pathway that the brook makes through the bushes, I hung back and Jesus paused and looked back at me. We stood on the carpet of green moss that covers the ground and that runs right down and into the lake, the waters of which are a clear green color, sheltered by the trees that grow thick along the bank.


Jesus stood straight and composed and patient in front of the rhododendron bushes, the dark, glossy leaves forming a background for the beauty of His light filled face. I just looked at Him and He smiled down at me, a smile of recognition and love.


I stepped closer to Him. “I want to see You as You are,” I confessed, pouring out my longing heart. “I want to know You in all that You are.” By which I meant- no more veil at all- no more symbols, but to know Him even as I am known by Him.


What do you want Me to do? Jesus asked, His voice gentle.


I can’t explain how He put it- it was as if His question was shifting down through all the layers and right to the heart and showing me what it really was, and Jesus wanted me to speak it out loud.


I was shy to say it, because the meaning was immense and I don't understand everything that it means, and I have deeply conflicted feelings about it due to early teachings, but even in all this, I knew Jesus and His tender love and faithfulness, and I couldn't deny that this longing lay deep down in me.


So I stepped closer to Him and threw my arms around Him and held onto Jesus, who is safe and loving and compassionate- who has seen me at my worst and at my best and whose loving kindness and faithfulness toward me always remains unchanged.


“Come,” I whispered, urgently. “Come quickly.” I meant, here, to this time and place, and I knew how much I wanted Jesus to bring things to a conclusion, so there would be no more suffering, no more crying, so that we would be with Him.


*


Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].


For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].


For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] life [in the kingdom of God]?


Matthew 16:24-26