ONE DAY as I lay in bed on a cold and rainy winter’s day, alone, musing about how life had turned out, I wondered aloud, praying, as if God were real. But he didn’t feel real. I soon felt as though I was wasting my breath. I rolled over and wept myself to sleep, praying, even as I didn’t believe I was being heard, that I’d not wake up like this again. I needed to speak this out. I did so to my rattled exhaustion.
I sobbed and lamented in this place of mortal hell. I felt vanquished of soul and bereft of spirit, yet to feel this way proved I had much of both. Such was life, it was torment. A ghastly, perplexing state of affairs.
I eventually feel fast asleep. And I dreamed.
The dream was a vision of God in real life, present with me, beside me, as Jesus — his Spirit whispering to me, yet not audibly, though I could hear him in terms that I understood him in language. He communicated as if through extra sensory perception.
The dream was the strangest reality; so different from the reality it appeared I couldn’t escape from, yet, from the dream’s perspective, it seemed so irrelevant. Then the Spirit whispered, “The hope you can see here, that which is coming, eclipses your present torment. Can you see this? Do you believe this?” I could say nothing except for, “Yes, I can see. Yes, I believe. Yes, it will come. I choose to know this by faith.”
At that point I awoke from my dream and immediately arose from my slumber.
My soul had been awakened to the eternal truth we just as easily read about in the Bible, yet hardly believe, because this life, this world, seems so real — the only reality we can know in this life.
The Spirit told me without words, but in a way that I understood as if by words, that all will be made known and all will make sense, one day (which is strange to call it a day, because it’s not a day in our sense of the word “day”).
The Spirit urged me to calmness. I was whispered into a sustaining tranquillity. I felt great peace even if my life seemed hopeless and I felt helpless. What I was experiencing was a peace that surpassed not only my understanding, but a peace beyond my circumstance.
In one instant of time, that waking moment, I recognised that God was with me, palpably, undeniably, healing my need, but without changing my situation. I was granted peace without being rescued out of the midst of the horrors of the consequences of life. Then, and only then, in that moment, I understood what eternal life meant.
Eternal life is the feeling of peace that transcends our tormenting realities of life.
Eternal life is the foretaste in this life of the life we’ll have in eternity.
In eternity we’ll trust Jesus without doubt. Trust Jesus to live eternally today.
Eternal life today is peace surpassing understanding; a peace surpassing our daily dis-ease.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.