Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)
TITLE: Tony Sierra: My Dream
By Rick Gray
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“Lord Jesus? Is it really you? Have I died and gone to Heaven?” I asked wide eyed, not believing what I was seeing.
“No child, you are dreaming,” the Saviour gently replied.
“But I don’t understand…!” I said, bewildered.
“You will, come with me,” He said, smiling.
I obediently followed my Lord. A thousand questions assaulted my mind as the Savior led me through a corridor and into a vast banquet room. Entering the room, I was not prepared for what I saw. The sheer beauty of it took my breath away. How could anything be this beautiful? I thought. The room was brilliant from a light source that could only have come from a thousand suns, but there were none in sight. Instinctively I knew it came from the glory of God, the Creator Himself. The Father of lights.
The walls were the purest of gold, like clear glass, with every type of precious stone imaginable imbedded within. There were pillars all around with strange writing on them, but oddly enough, I knew the meaning. Names! Millions of names! They were the names of the redeemed.
I stood spellbound by all that I saw. My throat constricting, I tried to blink back a tear, but it escaped down my cheek, over my chin, and into the Savior’s gentle hand, never to be wasted or despised.
My gaze shifted to a large table in the middle of the room, replete with Heavenly fare, where a myriad of people were seated all around. All wore dazzling white robes—and all were looking at me, as if I were a long lost loved-one returning home from sea. Then suddenly, I remembered the great cloud of witnesses, who ran the race before me, and encouraged me along the way.
As I looked around at all the smiling faces, and deep into their gentle eyes, I was startled to realize that—I was known. And with that, I had an overwhelming feeling of acceptance, and a love so perfect it permeated my very being. Again, I was overcome with emotion from the warm and blissful ambiance of my surroundings. It was as if they had all been waiting for me, for indeed, they had—I was home!
As I passed over each face, I saw Moses, and Elijah—and there was Paul, seated with Rahab! Across from them, with a look of joy on his humble face, Nebuchadnezzar was speaking to one of the three Hebrew children about my arrival, while Shadrach and Abed-nego, looking at me, listened in rapt attention.
People that I have never seen before…and yet…I knew—welcomed me home with an excited look of recognition. I continued to look around at all the radiant faces until my gaze stopped, and in stunned disbelief, I saw the one face I thought I would never see in Heaven. As I looked at him my mind went back to a time long ago, and the memory shot pain, anger, and resentment flooding through my body afresh as if the offense had happened only moments earlier. In shock I asked the Lord…, “What is he doing here? You know what he did to me, how he treated me!”
The Lord simply said:
“I have forgiven him, he is one of mine.”
“But Lord, you can’t...!” I protested. The Lord only smiled and guided me to my seat. As I sat down the Lord turned and left the room only to return a short time later with someone else. Like me, he entered unprepared for the beauty before him. After a short time of looking around at all the saints, our eyes finally met, and I heard him gasp in disbelief—“Lord, what is Tony doing here?! You know what he did to me, how he treated me…!”
The Lord simply said:
“I have forgiven him. He is one of mine too.”
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