Lisa and I and her boyfriend, Lee, went out to dinner after work. We had a really pleasant evening that unfortunately ended very badly. She's dealing with some really rough people that know some even rougher people and as we were leaving the restaurant we were physically threatened by several of them. Naturally we decided the best course of action was to get in our cars and leave PRONTO.
That worked for everyone but me. I got to my car, but the transmission was acting up and it wouldn't go. It would start and go a few feet but wouldn't go any further than that. So I did what anyone would do in that situation... I called my brother. :)
I tried my best to stress to him how serious the situation was, it was dark, the car wasn't starting, and the guys that had threatened us before were within 100 feet of my car watching me. But he told me he couldn't come because Brice (his best friend) was over and he and Glenda and Brice were in the middle of a game.
So I called my parents.
My mom answered the phone and I told her what was happening and asked her to please come get me and she just kept saying she'd had car trouble like that before and if I wait that it would start. She was certain she'd had this problem before and knew it would start if I'd just wait. Then, as I'm trying to convince her that waiting doesn't seem like an good option right now, thanks to modern cell phone technology my call is dropped.
Finally, feeling more than a little desperate and frightened I call a number from memory that I'm almost certain is the local police and I get some lady that wants to assist me with my call when my phone battery dies. I find a hundred different words for idiot as I think about how many times I've considered buying a car charger for my cell phone. It's just madness.
I finally decide there might be someplace, anyplace nearby that could be safer than sitting in my car so I get out of the car. There's a theatre close by and I head that direction.
At the theatre I discover they're playing a movie called "Black White Chicks" a movie whose plot is basically a bunch of black males dressing as white females. I turn and see 5-6 such guys that decided to dress in drag for the viewing of the movie heading my way. I decide that maybe this isn't the "safe place" I was looking for and move on, but not before that group accosted me. I don't even remember now what was said but they pushed me against the wall and tried to hurt me. I escaped the biggest guys grasp and ran, terrified across the street.
Then I woke up.
Before going to bed I'd read the book of Zephaniah. One of the verses that stood out at me was in Chapter 3, verses 1 & 2
1 "Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, To the oppressing city!
2 She has not obeyed His voice,
She has not received correction;
She has not trusted in the Lord,
She has not drawn near to her God. "
Immediately after reading it I considered sinners not obeying, receiving correction, things like that. Then it became as clear as day to me the many many many many times I've failed to obey, that I didn't receive His correction humbly, that I didn't trust in the Lord, and that I didn't draw near to MY God.
My dream played out exactly as it would have in real life. The steps I took in the dream are steps I would have naturally taken in real life. While I don't fear strangers even if some situations seem dangerous, I do fear evil. Throughout the entire dream I felt the strongest sense of evil that was waiting to hurt me and I was scared.
Thinking on it later, I've realized how I generally equate the presence of evil with the absence of God; the presence of God with the absence of evil. But, as a famous musician/songwriter once wrote; "yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art with me" Evil or no evil, GOD IS WITH ME.
There is a song that says "there are depths of love that I cannot know" and the farther I go the more I think on the idea of "depths" of spirituality. There are depths of love, depths of trust, depths of peace, depths of faith.
Oh to walk deeper into the depths!
But a wise man I know once made it clear, 'you can only go so deep before you have to swim, and you can't swim if you're holding onto stuff'. At least that was the jist of it.
Before I close this post, I want to share one more verse with you. It may be that no one reading this will understand how much it meant to me as I read it but suffice it to say God knows what you need. He often meets that need through His Word. The words that touched my heart came from a tiny book called Zephaniah. A book people don't generally read too much. Read God's Word.
Zephaniah 3:16 & 17
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you in His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."