Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
I had a dream two nights ago that went like this.
There was a group of us, perhaps ten, riding in a van packed with food. We were going to a church picnic. It was mid-day and summertime. Hot.
As we rounded a corner on a country road winding through lovely green fields dotted with trees, we saw the bodies, perhaps two dozen, strewn about in a wide area alongside the road to about a hundred or so yards into the field.
The driver slowed the van to a stop as we all stared. Silent.
There was no sign of a plane crash nearby or any other kind of event that would have caused such a sight, and even more curiously, there was no blood on the bodies, or any other indication of injury.
Just the bodies, not moving, laying on the grass in various poses. One was slumped over in a wheelchair.
But perhaps the most unusual sight of all was that each body was clad in a pristine, white robe…
We had several cases of water bottles on board along with the coolers of food.
“Everybody,” I said, “We have to make sure we drink some water before we go out in the heat to see if we can help those people.”
To my surprise, my statement was met with anger.
“We don’t have to go out there,” said one, scowling at me. “Somebody will come along soon and take care of them.”
“That’s not OUR job,” said another, equally irritated. “It’s the authorities’ job.”
I finally talked a few into, first, drinking some water before going out into the heat to help the people on the ground—if they were still alive.
“Bring as many water bottles as you can handle, too,” I said, “just in case. They will need it.”
(Hydration was important to me, as odd things are in dreams—for them and for us, too.)
As a smaller group of us, carrying as much water as we could each handle, drew near the people on the ground, they began to move and moan and reach out for help. Soon, all the people in the white robes were moving and rising and asking for water. We gave what we had…
Then the dream fast-forwarded to the last “scene” in which all of us, bus passengers and, now revived, white-robed people, were enjoying the picnic as we sat and conversed under the shade of several trees.
Then I woke up.
As I thought about the meaning of this dream several things occurred to me that speak, perhaps, to an interpretation that indicates a warning and offers an encouragement for God’s people in the days in which we live.
Spiritually and metaphorically speaking, white-robed people are types of the saints who have been made “righteous” by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Like the believers in Sardis, they “have not defiled their garments; and,“ (it is Jesus speaking, here), “they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:4-5).
Water, in the Scriptures, is a type of the Word of God by which believers are “cleansed,” “sanctified” (Ephesians 5:26), and sustained as this water “(gushes) up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
In short, believers need the water of the Word of God to sustain them into eternity.
My take on what happened to the “white robed ones” laying in the field as if dead was that they were lacking the “water of the Word of God.” Still redeemed, but suffering for lack of “spiritual hydration”.
There are many churches today offering all kinds of words, sermons, programs, entertainment, positive thinking, and so on, but not all offer the kind of “water” noted in the Scriptures, above, without which, like the redeemed laying in the field, believers suffer in the heat of what comes.
As for those of us “helping” our “thirsty brethren,” if we had not first filled up with water (God’s Word) we, too, might have suffered a similar fate “out there”…
Like my irritated fellow passengers who thought the “authorities” would take care of the people in the field, many of us might assume the “church authorities” should be doing the rescuing of the saints.
And they should.
But as noted above, not all of them, these days, are offering the Word that saves, cleanses, and satisfies.
It might be you and I to the rescue, God’s Word sustaining all.