Last Friday I have a vacation day and so I spent it writing out my goals in the various areas of my life. It's something I do this from time to time. In the "spiritual" category, I made the goal of starting the morning in gratitude - you know - expressing 5 things I'm grateful for as I wake up. Many of my noble goals were vetoed by God by the time the sun set. Instead, He chose "contemplating the cross" as the theme for our devotional time.
This morning I had to wake up super early. Knowing myself, the "contemplating the cross" time was not going to happen - not without Divine intervention. Well, I did get to contemplate the cross this morning some time before 5:30 a.m., but it was in a different way than I expected.
I choose to share this dream because I believe that God wants His people to understand "The Joy that was Set Before Him." As you read this dream, imagine that the "I" or the "me" is Jesus.
I was at a camp and I met and bonded with this group of people (both men and women) with spiritual conversations. And there was this trip we were all going on together soon. I told my new friends that I had a few tasks to do, but it was important that they didn't leave without me. The time came and I was the last one on the bus. I was really concerned that I wouldn't make it. But I just made it. The inside of the bus seemed more like an airplane with the triple seating thing. The bus was taking us to a mysterious destination together. When we got there, we found we were in the wilderness. Each of us, one by one, slid down the chute which took us down this hill into a flat plain. It was thrilling at first, but when the terrain started to flatten out, my sled (or whatever it was that I sat on) started to come to a stop. I used my hands for a while to push myself a little further but I did not get far - but it was just far enough to see what was beyond the long row of evergreen trees on my left. On my right was a big field surrounded by trees.
As I looked beyond the trees, I saw a white mountain (covered with snow). Two of my friends (the ones I bonded with the most at camp) had made it up the top of the mountain before me. They called out to me and everyone. One yelled specifically to me "Join our team!" but I couldn't see any other team - not on that mountain. They were joining hands and people were running up the hill toward them. I felt this excitement coming off my friends and the people running up the hill. It was beyond anything I've ever experienced -the joy. Nobody jumped up and down like on the Price is Right, but there was this expectancy, a feeling like that of winning a prize and of victory. The vision of all these people running with such intensity was an amazing sight. If I was in tune with language instead of feelings, I would've said "If it kills me, I'm going to make it up that hill." That's all I wanted - to be a part of that joy.
It should've been painful and it should've been clumsy, and maybe it was, but I ran up that hill with all my heart. I was so focused on that joy - it was unspeakable. My eyes were fixed on my friend's hand that was reaching out to me. I wanted to make it to the top of that hill so I could start shouting down to my friends who were in the valley "Join our team!" and who were climbing the mountain. It was like I was being picked to be on a team - I was chosen. I finally made it to that place on the mountain and grasped my friend's hand. And then I woke up.
As I was pondering the dream and it's meaning, I was just about to walk out the kitchen door when a heard a soft, I think it was audible, voice say "For the Joy set before me." and I continued "...endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." KJV