My friends and I haven’t experienced the light of day in one hundred hours, thirty minutes, fifteen seconds. I stand outside the old church we have taken refuge in, glance at my watch then back out at the ruins. Chunks of broken pavement enshrouded in night lay before me. Only four, flickering light posts, spread quite far from one another, dimly brighten sections of that pavement. Just as the sun has abandoned us, the moon is not out either.
I glance ahead. Small, hairy figures move into a lightened section then sink back into the shadows slowly. A dank smell, wet and moldy with a tinge of flesh follows them. They are hyenas. I know that much. Are they hungry even after feasting on the dead lying in the streets? Perhaps. But I need to get across the lot to get some nourishment of my own, water. The beasts don’t seem to be aware of my presence. I am willing to take the risk.
I take a step off the grass and onto the broken tarmac. A hyena standing in flickering light turns to me stares then lets out a loud, low, ominous warble. A grow sounds to my right then my left. Jolts of fear smash through my spine as I turn to run inside the church. The smell gets worse. Much worse. I reach for the door and slam it behind me. Turn the lock on the knob.
It won’t lock. Why won’t it lock? With high pitched, unearthly noises, the hyenas smash themselves against the wood, howling and pawing to get in. One sticks his paw through an open slot between frame and door. I scream and pull the door closer to me, slamming its foot inside. Blood stains the frame. The beast yelps in pain and hobbles away. Hopefully, my two friends sleeping upstairs will hear everything and lock themselves away safely, just like I encouraged them to do earlier. The onslaught of snarling faces, pounding and howling continues then gradually fades into the gentle sound of my crying. Finally, they had given up.
I slide down the door, my hand firmly grasping its handle. Sobs rack my body. I need to pull it together. How stupid of me to go out there! But we need water. It’s been almost three days without. I stay there, holding my arms tightly on the knob. I need to move upstairs, to be in a safe space but I can’t move my legs. I am exhausted.
A large shadow slinking across the yard catches my eye. I push myself to my feet and stare out the bulletproof window on the white door. I hold in a scream as a large face appears. Its green eyes study me. Black and orange stripes etch its face. I tighten my grip on the handle. It growls, then roars. Teeth bared. A tiger.
It turns and swings itself at the door with its body. Crack. The animal broke the wood with its sheer weight. There was no way I could hold it back. I release the handle, push myself up and run towards the dark hallway on my right. It bellows and takes off after me.
My foot snags. I fall and claw myself to standing.
“God! Help me!” The tiger’s eyes flash. An explosion of light. A loud, horrific moan. The tiger lays on the floor a hundred feet in front of me. Its arms and legs splayed; its eyes frozen in perpetual horror. I grip the wall and watch as a giant creature walks over the body of the tiger. A lion. My body stiffens. He stares at me for a moment with honey coloured eyes. His profound thought leaked through his golden eyes.
“My Child, ask, and you will receive.”
As we hold each other’s gaze, sunlight inches across my pale skin. A burst of light explodes through the back wall. A surge of power blasts through the right then the left. The building was imploding and I was in the middle of it. I throw my hands over my head and scream. The lion starts to roar. Deep, loud, terrifying. Glass shatters. Stone rumbles around me. The building crumbles. I wait until the sounds have died and look up shakily. I am not hurt. There is no lion. Only sun and warmth. I see my friends waving to me in the distance. I feel peace. Only peace. Something I hadn’t felt in a very long time.
Fear. It smashes into us in waves. It comes to us in myriads of ways. My fear manifested in the dream I just shared with you. I woke up in a sweat and begged God for peace so I could calm down and fall asleep again. As I lay there in the darkness, waiting, He reminded me of three verses I thought I knew well:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
“Cast your cares upon the Lord for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
For those of you who experience fear. Any fear at all… fear about what people think of you, fear for your job security, fear that you won’t make it into University or pass your classes, I ask you to discipline yourself to remember that God is a prayer away. Although our requests may not seem to be answered as immediately as they are in the dream I shared, He always answers. ALWAYS. In the right timing, the best timing that is condusive to our growth towards the Father.
He wants us to flourish and prosper! His heart is for us!
While you wait on Him, continually choose to soak in His word and truths. They are truth, they are light, they are going to let you live life to the fullest.
Above all, remember: He is for you. He has fought and continues to fight for you, even when you aren’t aware of it.
With much love,