I woke up this morning from a restless, disturbing dream with a splitting headache.
I tossed and turned for a few moments, as my mind slowly made that transition to reality, but I couldn’t get the dream out of my head.
In my dream, I was in a large house, heated by a woodstove. There were many people in the house with me and it was cold outside. I opened the woodstove and put in some wood, but as I did, a spark flew out, landing in a nearby electrical outlet and momentarily setting the carpet around the outlet on fire.
In my dream, I closed the woodstove, and using my foot, I extinguished the fire. Or so I thought.
The scene changed slightly then, and I now found myself upstairs, staring at a fire smoldering in a corner of the hallway. Then I was suddenly in the basement, witnessing a spot in the concrete that was red-hot and smoldering.
Alarmed, I ran back upstairs to see that smoke was coming from a nearby recliner, as well as from the wall behind the stove.
“Fire!” I screamed. “Call 911!”
Two of those upstairs appeared at the head of the stairs.
“Call 911!” I screamed again. “We have to get everyone out! The house is on fire!”
These two stared at the smoldering reclining chair, then they looked at each other and shrugged. One reached for the phone, and both of them made their way outside.
But where were the others?
Frustrated, I ran upstairs and began grabbing people and pulling them towards the stairs. But only a few would come with me, and no one seemed to sense the urgency of the situation!
“Out!” I shouted. “Out of the house!”
I then charged downstairs, but those in the basement didn’t respond any differently from those upstairs. Most refused to come, and some, mere children, even claimed they didn’t understand what I was trying to tell them! They seemed to think that playing my piano was more important than getting out of the house!
I picked them up and bodily carried them outside. But where were the firefighters?
After about 10 minutes, two cars full of men in uniforms pulled up. One got out and sauntered over to me. “There’s a fire in the house!” I cried.
“Show me!” He said. And he didn’t try to hide the wink he threw over his shoulder at his companions.
I took him into the house, but to my dismay, a young girl tagged along with me. “Get back outside!” I cried, but she refused to listen.
Once inside, the uniformed man stood with his back to the smoldering chair and the cherry-red woodstove. “What’s the story behind those posts out there?” He asked, pointing out the picture window at a series of 6 or 7 tall posts that were cemented into the ground.
In my dream I started to cry. Why wouldn’t anyone listen? Didn’t anyone care the house was on fire? And then I awoke. With a splitting headache.
As I reviewed these scenes in my mind, I remembered my prayer of the night before. Of late I am very frustrated that so many people refuse to even consider the love of God. They spend all of their energies searching for inconsistencies in the Christian message, providing “proof” that God doesn’t exist, or that He isn’t a God of love.
My frustration had brought me to my knees before my Lord and Maker in fervent prayer of intercession: “Oh, God! Open their blind eyes! Help them to understand the urgency of the situation!”
The truth is, friends, our world is on fire! Oh, it’s only a smoldering flame at the moment, but it will soon burst into an all-consuming inferno. But just as there was an easy way out of my house, Jesus has provided us with a solution. It is as simple as running down the stairs and out onto the front lawn! All we have to do is accept His gift of Salvation!
But we have become so jaded to the smoke that we have lost track of the fact that fire will one day erupt and cleanse the earth! Most don’t even believe the fire exists, pretending they don’t understand you when you tell them!
What does Jesus say about these?
“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked . . .” (Rev 3:17 NKJV)
Even fellow believers have become tired of the wait, world-weary, and . . . Lukewarm!
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Rev 3:15-17 NKJV)
So what are we to do?
We do what I did in my dream! We continue to run through life, shouting for people to wake up, taking them by the hand, and attempting, even in the face of rejection, ridicule, and lukewarmness, to lead them to Jesus. The responses we get are not our responsibility to worry about. Like the sower in Jesus’ parable, our job is simply to shout out the warning. God is the one that will open the hearts to our shouts!
Interestingly, my headache is now completely gone . . .