Some people try to interpret dreams. I just try to survive them.
Once when I was a teenager, I dreamed I was walking all alone through our dark house one night. A foreboding hung in the air. I opened a door and a ball of light with a voice speaking from its center scared the life out of me. In my dream I was convinced it was a wolf. Takes your heart a while to beat correctly again after a nightmare like that.
Another time I dreamed my girlfriend took a long fall into a pit of water. (This girlfriend is now my wife, just in case she’s reading this and getting ready to ask “Who was she!”) It must have been a 100-foot fall to the water with no way out. I knew she couldn’t swim. (In case you’re wondering, I did jump in and try to save her. I’m very brave in my dreams. Fortunately, I woke up before we both drowned).
I cried the time I dreamed my kids were in a runaway car and crashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle.
But I think the most vivid dream I ever had occurred a few months after my dad passed away. We’ve worked nearly thirty years in Europe, mostly in Luxembourg, then in France. For years and years, dad would call us from the USA every two weeks without fail. Old Faithful didn’t have anything on daddy.
One night after dad’s death, I dreamed he called me on the phone. His voice was so real I almost wondered if the Lord hadn’t let him call me from heaven (I know it doesn’t happen). Through my tears I tried to tell him how much I missed him. It took me awhile to get over that one.
I guess it’s because your father plays such an important role in your life.
That is why I’m blown away by the realization that I can call the God who created this universe “Father.” God is Father eternally. Our human father/child relationship only reflects the divine relationship between the Father and his Son, Jesus. The NIV version of the Bible offers this from Ephesians 3:15, “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth derives its name.” We discover fatherhood when we see the Eternal Father’s relationship with his eternal Son, Jesus.
What amazes me beyond words is that when I put my faith in Jesus Christ, God changed my heart and I joined His family. He adopted me. Every human is God’s creation but we’re not all God’s children. You’re born into the family by faith in the Lord Jesus.
In all the Old Testament, few dared call God, “Father.” (There are 15 cases in the Old Testament, nearly 250 in the New Testament). Why? Because Jesus hadn’t yet shed his blood for our sins. He hadn’t risen again and reconciled us to his Father, who then became our Father.
Now it’s logical to call him “Father” because He does all the things an earthly father does for us: He provides. He helps us mature by teaching us.
But he does more than that. I learned what a good father does by watching how my own father provided for me. But I really didn’t learn what a good father feels until I had children of my own.
Then I understood! How could God love me that much?
Our second son Charles and his wife Tahyna were missionaries in Africa. They adopted a Kenyan baby, Joshua (the most handsome and talented baby in Africa). Listen to Charles’ heart as he reflected about waiting on final approval for the adoption, “Waiting has made me live, live in the moment; enjoy the little smiles, the banana everywhere but in Josh’s mouth, the cookie goatee. In the past 8 months, Tahnya and I have laughed and smiled more than in the past decade combined.”
Do you think we make God our Father smile? Maybe Zephaniah in the Old Testament didn’t have a complete revelation of God as Father, but he surely had a powerful revelation of the Father’s heart. Listen to him talk about how God feels about his children, “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zech. 3:17).
God singing for me, like a papa humming a lullaby for his little one? One of the French versions translates the verse saying, “He’ll make of you his greatest joy.” Me, the greatest joy of God? Yep, because He’s my Father. Yours, too.
In a world where fathers are in desperate shortage, that thought kind of makes for sweet dreams, doesn’t it? Except this is no dream. Our eyes are wide open. The Father’s love and care for us is real.
Phyllis’ husband for 45 years; Steve, Charles and Christi’s dad; and grandfather to the expensive limited series known as … “The Nine Most Incredible Grandkids In the World.”
We pastored in Texas from 1974-79, then began our ministry in Europe in 1981. We were involved in the implantation of two churches in Luxembourg and evangelized in that country and also in France. I also worked at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels part time. We moved to France in 2001. We’ve preached evangelistic meetings all over the country, started a magazine called Victoire, done marriage seminars and my wife was involved in women’s ministry.
Now our ministry is expanding to the whole French-speaking world through Network 211. We want to develop a French internet outreach, plus follow-up networks among the 260 million French speakers in the world. I continue to write my weekly blog in English (and French) www.davidscoffeestains.com and continue to do the French magazine online.
Please HELP make Manly Training available to everyone. A revival is on the horizon and it will start with the men! Will you please make a tax free donation to the ministry in order to help keep this vital organization alive and blessing families? Just click on the button below to give a donation.
STAY CONNECTED BY EMAIL. CLICK HERE
© 2017 MANLY TRAINING
I would be very grateful if you shared this article and website on your Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. You can also follow MANLY TRAINING on:
My Father’s Legacy 2017 entire line-up of great articles and podcasts: