I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
there will be deliverance,
as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors
whom the Lord calls.
- Joel 2:28-32
In the NIV, this passage from Joel is entitled the Day of the Lord. Yes, indeed, the Day of the Lord is coming. Yesterday, I wrote about Biblical Insomnia. In the post I talk about how in the ESV, Matthew 24:42 states that we are to ‘stay awake.’ Well, we must sleep at some point. And the passage above starts off with old men dreaming dreams. You must sleep for that to happen.
I always wondered why it says that young men see visions and old men dream dreams. In yesterday’s post, I reminisced about a day that went beyond 36 hours of continuously being awake, ending in the flu. The flu was not the result of the long stretch, but it didn’t help. I had other military maneuvers where we might have two or three nights during a week’s exercise when we never closed our eyes. I have had many days like that since the military also, flying to and from China, India, and Thailand. I don’t sleep well on airplanes, mostly I do not sleep at all. The point is that all those occasions were when I was younger. My last China trip ended on 15 November 2013.
The reason why young men see visions is that they are awake a lot. Why do old men dream dreams? It’s called a nap.
Around mid-March, my wife and I got the flu. My wife spent parts of two weeks in the hospital, and I drove back and forth. The naps were nearly nonexistent. The sleep at night was restless. The lack of sleep has been profound ever since. At first, it was due to the sinuses being clogged. The ear problem got worse as the sinuses got better. All that plus a loose strap holding the CPAP mask. Not good for restful sleep. Can you imagine having cold air suddenly blowing onto your eyes in the middle of the night? With health improving and a new CPAP strap, I started to sleep a little better, just light sleep with no dreams.
A couple of nights ago, I slept soundly, and I dreamed a dream that I could partially remember. I often dream and only remember my mood or what I was doing (searching, running away, leading men into battle, etc.). With this dream, I remember some of the details. The dream started in a mansion…
I was living on the top of a mountain. Our home was a mansion with many, many rooms. Everyone in the house was busy. There were a lot of people working. I had no idea how many. A great feast was planned, and countless visitors would be coming to the feast. Everyone that was running here and there in preparation was family. The builder, who had helped us move into the mansion, was also present. He wasn’t so busy as the others, but He was certainly enjoying the love displayed in the house.
The builder asked me to come out onto the porch for a minute. The scene from the porch was a vista like you see from Clingmans Dome in the Smoky Mountains or one of the vistas from Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga. In other words, it was more like the Appalachian Mountains than it was the Rockies. I think the point was that it was a great mansion, with a great view, but it was accessible to the guests who would be arriving soon.
The view took my breath away, but in that moment, Scripture flooded through my head. I thought of the feasts that Jesus talked about in His parables, like in Matthew 22 with the wedding feast. And the mansion that He prepares for us.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
- John 14:1-6 (NKJV)
Until that moment, the preparation for the feast was the only thing on my mind, other than an overpowering feeling of Joy.
But as the Scriptures flooded through my mind, I turned to the builder and said, “This is just like in the Scriptures, both the feast and the mansion.”
It was at this point that the builder turned to look me in the eye. For the first time, I saw His face. It was a face I had never seen, yet it was a familiar face. Jesus winked, smiled, and said, “Ain’t it though.”
At that moment of realizing that the builder was Jesus, my Lord and my Brother, the Joy that I had felt before was multiplied a hundredfold. I felt as if I would burst from the Joy inside me.
(Those who might be offended by the improper English, remember that Jesus will speak to us in familiar words with no pretense, and I doubt it will be English anyway. Besides, it’s what I remembered from my dream.)
The promises are true. Jesus will come again. We need to be prepared, and when we go to our mansion, Jesus will be there with us.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.