In that pre wake up state just before becoming conscious and getting out of bed, I experienced an incredibly profound encounter or dream. I don’t know the exact time or the duration but it was so realistic that when I awoke, I was still in it. This event accompanied me from slumber into the beginning of this new day. I was fully awake and yet still in the dream. I was at peace, like I had never felt before. I was swimming in joy, contentment and gratitude in a complete state of euphoric bliss. I remember waking up smiling and continuing to smile throughout the entire day.
Allow me to try to describe what happened, to the best of my recollection.
I don’t know where I came from or where I had been and as far as I know this dream just started with me facing forward. I was motionless, bogged down, stooped over. I was carrying so much weight in many backpacks, duffle bags, extra canvas bags, and tarps. There were additional rolls and blankets, tents and baskets with numerous items dangling from ropes. I was loaded up like a pack mule. My pockets were stuffed full and whatever I had in them was pulling down on my sweat stained shirt, my filthy jacket and dirty pants with my knees exposed. My heavy worn out work boots were like weighted, lead divers boots, on my feet.
It was sunny, hot and dry, my lips were cracked and bleeding. The skin of my face, hands and arms was like checked dark leather. My feet ached; my legs were throbbing, my hip joints burned with pain. There was no comfortable position to relieve the riveting electric pulses shooting across my lower back and around to my protruding ribs. My spine felt compressed, my shoulders were hunched and my neck was stretched forward so tense and stiff I could not turn from side to side. My posture was so poor I was looking at the dusty ground just ahead of my feet. I raised my head up as high as I could muster the strength, so I could face who I supposed, was Jesus.
I didn’t see anyone but hearing him speak, it could only be him. I’ve no idea how long I had been walking, traveling, drifting. I’ve no idea where I accumulated all that was weighing me down and no idea how long I had been carrying it.
Jesus said, “come to me, let me help.” “Take it off and hand it all over, I can handle it.” I didn’t move, I just stood there before him, I was too weak to move. I didn’t say a thing, I’m not sure I could even speak. How I was even able to stand was confounding. I was just frozen like a pathetic statue.
Jesus stepped toward me and gently began lifting bags off my back and setting them down. I didn’t even notice at first. Gradually, I began to feel that the pressure upon me was being lifted and I was able to move a foot and reposition and stabilize myself. All the while, Jesus was unloading my baggage, he spoke softly to me.
I don’t recall what he said at this point, but I can only surmise now after the fact, what he was saying. I imagine he asked, how long had I been carrying this heavy load? I imagine him, telling me he’s going to share my burden. I do remember he encouraged me to let it all go, give it up and trust him. I still didn’t say a word but I remember there was a point, when I started to off load some of the last remaining weights, myself. Finally everything was off loaded and I just silently stood there facing Jesus. Dirty, slouched, broken and sore, aching all over and tired, oh so terribly tired, exhausted, depleted and burnt out. Jesus spoke again and I remember him saying, he was there for me, he asked me to believe in him and to trust in him. Have faith in me he said, and I will give you rest.
Finally I broke my silence and I told Jesus, “I believe.” “I do.” “I believe.” “Take all of this away, I’m so tired, I can’t carry it any longer, I just can’t do it any more, I give up.” “Please take away all the negativity, the pain from holding on, the mental anguish, the hurt feelings.” “Oh Lord Jesus, please take away the lies, the guilt, the resentment and the hate, the disappointment, the fear, the anxiety, anger, sadness, hopelessness and despair.” “I want to be free, free of the handcuffs and free of the chains holding me down.” 1 Peter 5:7 : “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
I remember that I was crying and sobbing, my eyes are swollen and my nose running, my mouth was dry and sticking like glue. All the while I continued becoming lighter and lighter as I asked for each sin to be removed. I reached a point of weightlessness and I then realized that my belief and my faith in Jesus was heartfelt and genuinely true. The more I repented the lighter I became. The lighter I felt the stronger my faith. I recall, just knowing in my heart that this really is true. The Bible, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, every bit of it. There is no question in my mind what so ever. It’s all true, it’s real just like the Bible claims it is.
Again, I don’t know when or how it happened but there I was standing straight, I was clean, shaved and groomed. Next I noticed there was no pain, no pain at all, not a pick, not an itch. Nothing, nada, zero, zip. There was no pressure, no pinch, no tug, pull or tension. No eye strain, no stomach ache, no arthritic pain in my fingers, no joint pain in my hips, elbows or ankles. I could move in all directions, throw my arms up in the air, jump up and down, turn my head from side to side, twist my back and look behind. Now wait a minute. What’s this? No heartache either, no worries, no negativity, no fear, no panic, no stress, no apprehension. Had I died? Had my life ended? Was it all over? Was I finally at rest? But no, I was alive, I had never felt so alive. I fell to my knees and bowed my head low to the ground before Jesus. Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, you truly are who you say you are. What? There’s more! I became aware that I was engulfed with love, hope, joy, gratitude, peace, satisfaction, awe. It was euphoria and then, I woke up.
It was just before my 5 am alarm was to go off. I’m smiling ear to ear and I say out loud to myself, “so this is what it is to be truly free.” “This is what you get when you’re finally able to turn over the last chamber of your heart to Jesus.” “When you truly believe, when you no longer hold anything back, when you express total unquestionable faith.” I’m in a state of pure bliss. There is no one or nothing, that can wipe the smile off my face.
I threw back the covers and planted my feet on the floor and I prayed. “Dear Abba, So this is what it is to totally give up my life to you. Thank you from the deepest parts within me. Thank you for giving me this incredibly awesome experience. I know now what I have to do and I now know the reward. Abba, I freely hand over every area of my life to you. Accept my life, take over my life, may your will be done in me. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.