I had a dream last night that someone was trying to kill me. Well, he had asked someone to kill me, but the person was close to me and didn’t want to, so they helped me escape instead. I didn’t know who the guy that wanted me dead was, yet I knew who he was at the same time. I didn’t know the fullness of who he was, but I seemed to know why he wanted to kill me. The weird part was me knowing that he wanted to kill me because he loved me (i.e. he couldn’t really have me without killing me first). I woke up from the dream very frightened but not as frightened as I was in the dream. In my dream I was so frightened that I couldn’t walk.

I tried to reflect on what it meant, and all kinds of thoughts began flooding into my head. I thought maybe I’d caught a virus and it was giving me nightmares?? You know?

 I wasn’t frightened because I thought the devil was trying to kill me or mess with my mind or tell me lies or anything like that. I was frightened because somehow there was this sense of calm that came with me knowing in this very moment, that following God comes with a price. It’s a difficult walk. Suddenly every story I had read in the bible about people encountering God came flooding back to me. I thought of Abraham encountering God and asking for a son, and soon enough God comes and asks him to kill the same son (Genesis 22).

I remember telling my daughter that the test in that story wasn’t only for Abraham. The test was also for Isaac. Isaac had to be willing to offer himself as a sacrifice. In my dream I was scared witless, but in my waking life I had the time to ponder and ask myself the one faithful question; “are you willing to offer yourself as a willing sacrifice?

I thought of God meeting Moses and asking him to go rescue his people from the Egyptians, but then the same story goes on to say God met Moses on his way to the inn and tried to kill him, but Zipporah, Moses wife rescues him by circumcising their son (Exodus 4:24-26).

Then I thought about Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice. He knew his end, yet he remained faithful even until the end. Knowing the promise set before him was that of resurrection. His was the prime example. We all know we will die someday but choosing to embrace death so we can inherit life is a difficult concept to grasp.

I rose up from bed, said my prays asking God for mercy and the will to push forward irrespective of any huddle or difficulty. The word “Diligent” came to my mind, so I looked up the meaning, and looked up every instance of that word in the bible. I decided to go about my day with a fervent and grateful heart, being “diligent” to follow through on everything God had put in my heart to do.

The day would start with my husband changing the plans we had made the night before. He wanted to show me a new route he discovered. But then, he changed his mind again and said he was running late. This led to me being late in dropping off our daughter, and then being late for a couple other morning errands.

Soon after I dropped our daughter off, I was caught in a slow-moving traffic along the middle school way, only for someone to caught me off from behind. It was a 2-lane road, and I was driving on the left lane. I was driving past a street to the right when the driver behind me suddenly drove ahead of me from the left side to turn into the street on the right. It was a perfect T accident at that moment. I stepped on my breaks, and all I heard was a cracking sound like my break box had broken. My breaks didn’t work. I screamed JESUS, and suddenly my car came to a halt. It all happened at the same time, within a few seconds. All I could say was “thank you Lord” when I realized it was a clean escape for him. My car had stopped in time even though the breaks had failed me. I couldn’t understand what just happened or how my car was able to stop. I couldn’t even bring myself to push the horns at the reckless driver or yell a cautionary curse word at him.

After shaking myself out of my shaken state, I stepped on the accelerator and continued driving. My heart was pounding really fast and I could hear it in my head like a bass drum. Suddenly my dream came back to me. I didn’t know what to make of what just happened. I was so shaken I had to ask; Did God just try to kill me? Or did he just try to test me?

I mean I was on the right lane, driving at the right speed. Nothing I had done was out of place, even though I was running late. But someone else who probably was running late too figured his car was fast enough to make a bad decision. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was all one big coincidence, or was my day going exactly as it should. Just as God had determined it would.

See God never said we wouldn’t encounter trouble. In fact, Jesus said; in this world you will have trouble. But take courage I have overcome the world (John 16:33). The trouble part is a guarantee, but so is the fact that nothing will by any means harm us.

I think of Isaiah 45:7 where God says “I form the light, and create darkness: I make shalom (peace or prosperity), and create evil: I the Lord do all these things”. It’s funny how we always think of the devil causing the bad things, and God causing the good things like they are 2 opposing forces. Yet God says it’s me who does everything!!

As soon as I got to work, I called my husband and told him what had just happened. He screamed; the devil is a liar lol. I couldn’t help but wonder if the ancient world thought the same way. Like when Jacob encountered a man that wrestled with him the night after he had received a promise from God, did he think there was an opposing force that could steal God’s promise from him?

I took a pause to reflect on what happened this morning. I could write it off as a mere coincidence but I’m sure the scribes of the Tanakh never saw anything as mere coincidences. They saw God as supreme over all things.

The same God who pours out judgement on the world by causing calamity, is the same God who shows us mercy and Grace by giving us his son for our redemption.

For once I felt like Jacob and Joseph. Having a hope yet being shaken. Having a promise to endure for and towards yet facing trouble and calamity. I thought about the guy who just crossed paths with me and almost caused a terrible accident, I didn’t see his face or his license plate, or even the back of his head because it happened so fast (and I was mostly in shock afterwards), but I now compare him to the guy who Jacob had to wrestle with for a blessing rather than settle for a curse. Or Joseph’s brothers whom Joseph told them; “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for Good.

Our society today is so selfish we never stop to think what our selfishness does to the next person.

What today has taught me is despite our best efforts and precautions, we’re bound to slip at some point like the failed breaks. But when that slip comes, it’s God who’s there to shield us. Our job is just to follow him wholeheartedly and completely.

At this point I’m reminded of those who live in places where the church is persecuted, and they have to embrace death to defend their faith in Christ. Places like Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and even northern Nigeria.

 I’m not expecting the road to be easier, but I’m more confident to walk on courageously!

Selah!