“And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ Joseph answered Pharaoh, ‘It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.'”
Excerpt from Genesis 41:14-36
Recently I got a little nostalgic as I wandered through I-Tunes looking for some of my oldies but goodies of the 60’s and 70’s. Man, that sure was some good music. One of my favorite groups of those days was the Mama’s and Papa’s. And Mama Cass had a voice that just wouldn’t quit. I spent some time listening to their songs but focused in on one of my favorites… Mama Cass singing; “Dream A Little Dream of Me.” It got me to thinking about dreams. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. Does it mean something if I do or don’t? Who knows? I do know that I have been awakened by a dream many times… or some God nudge, or something.
The Rev. Will Green, who was both a pastor and psychologist, led a group through a series of dream workshops in which they shared their dreams. Each imagined having had the dream of one person who would share his or her dream. As each shared the dream’s meaning for the others, the original dreamer took notes and identified interpretations that resonated. The group became the “Joseph” of this biblical story. The idea of the group was that God speaks though our dreams in symbols or code so that our conscious mind will not suppress them and divinely inspired messages can get through. I don’t know if that is true or not.
However, I do believe that we should pay attention to those hunches, and not suppress them. Test significant dreams, visions, or hunches with others you trust, and then prayerfully act on them. Your dream, vision, or thought may be the difference between life and death, for you, for someone you love, for a generation, for the world. If it isn’t, after discernment and prayer, know when to let go. (Do know that God will not encourage you to harm anyone.)
I remember having some kind of divine nudges (even though at the time I didn’t understand it that way) to go visit someone, to preach a certain message, to talk with the youth about a special topic, or lead the congregation in a special time of prayer. Many times when I did not act on that nudge I regretted not acting on what I later believed to be a nudge from God. I could have helped someone if I had only listened and acted on that Divine nudge. So, I am learning to be sensitive to the nudges from God. I don’t always get it right but I am getting better at listening for God to speak or tap me on the shoulder.
What is the dream or hunch God gave you? God is still sending Divine hunches, many more than we acknowledge. Work on your listening skills. God just may be wanting to use you as an instrument of His grace. Listen and be ready to act.
Gracious God, Help me discern and share the dreams and thoughts you give me today that have divine purpose. Help me sharpen my listening skills so that I may hear you calling, feel the nudge and act in your behalf. In and through Jesus. Amen.
Grace and Peace