DG-blog-header-July25-01 I don't dream often. Or when I do dream, I seldom remember anything about it. Life has been a bit of a blur this summer, it seems like a revolving door of challenges and frustrations, hurts and pains, with an overarching theme of hectic busyness. Likely not unlike most of you, I'm experiencing a season of overwhelm. Some days, most days, I just feel like I can't keep up. Now, I feel the need to place a disclaimer here: I'm not trying to make an ardent claim about dream interpretation, nor am I trying to open up a conversation about the milieu of dream life. I don't know what dreams mean, or how God might use them. I don't know if the common 3am nightmare has a purpose or if it's just our subconscious playing tricks. I can't tell you what dreams are purposed for, and I'm comfortable with that. But what I do know if that I had three almost identical recurring nightmares in the span of about a month. Each dream set me on a coastline somewhere, enjoying the views with my husband. We'd be finding our room in a hotel, or we'd be driving across a bridge when suddenly panic would break out. We would look out at the ocean and see a tidal wave coming straight for us. In each dream we would narrowly escape, water lapping at our ankles. After the third night of this dream, I began thinking about it throughout the day. Seeing the unstoppable surge in the distance, trying to outrun the inevitable waters, the disorientation–it all seemed so recognizable. It was that all-too-familiar sensation of overwhelm. In those moments that I let my mind wander, I remembered a quote from C.H. Spurgeon:

"I have learned to kiss the waves that throw me up against the Rock of Ages."

DG-instas-July25 What the purpose of those dreams were, I can't say for sure. But, I know that they caused me to reconsider and examine the way that I was reacting to the emotions I'd been feeling. This series of unpleasant dreams caused me to reflect on what I was doing, or even more, what I wasn't doing. Was I properly loving God through my struggles? Was I remaining and abiding in His Word? Was I willing to lay aside the weight of overwhelm and instead rest in God's grace and truth? God takes what is intended for evil and bends it for good. God makes sure that the waves that throw us toss us into His everlasting arms. Can we learn to kiss the waves that seem to seek taking our lives? Can we learn to love the things that attempt to rip us apart? Part of the Christian life, part of sanctification, is learning how to use all that life hands us and twist its arm into submission to the work of the Holy Spirit within us. This practice is a litmus test for our maturity in Christ. Whether we do or don't seek God and His purifying work in our difficult circumstances shows us the truth about whether or not we are acting as mature, adult believers in the resurrection.

"Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit." Ephesians4:14

DG-instas-July252 Scripture often uses the imagery of children to describe Spiritual maturity (1 Peter 2:2, 1 Corinthians 2:1, 14:20, Hebrews 5:12-13). Children behave as children, and that is a good and acceptable thing. However, children don't stay immature forever. They grow. They bear new fruit. They learn new things. What is alarming, though, is an adult who reverts back to childish behavior. If someone has made it into their thirties, and then suddenly begins to kick and scream in a tantrum when things don't go their way, onlookers can tell that something is not quite right. We cannot afford to stay as spiritual infants. We cannot afford to stunt our own spiritual growth. Directly prior to this verse, Paul talks about "growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ's fullness." We grow in maturity when we grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We become full when we feast on the fullness of God. When we grow to full stature in the Lord, we no longer allow ourselves to be tossed indiscriminately by waves or wind. When we are mature in our faith and ever growing in the Lord, the cleverness of Satan nor the cunning of mankind can move our sturdy roots. DG-instas-July253 Spiritual maturity can look like a lot of things. It can look like memorized bible verses, or head-knowledge of cross-references. It can look like a dampened temper, or unmoving faithfulness. But maybe those first steps that catapult us from children to adults is learning to see God as Rock of Ages, the One to be thrown against when waves will indeed come, the surest foundation. Or learning to love the things that hurt us because they bring us to God, kissing the waves that rock and toss us. Or even simply learning that we've got much farther to go and grow in our maturity. Let's be believers who never outgrow maturity. May we never think we've arrived at the precipice of spiritual eldership. May we always grow closer and closer to the Lord 'til He calls us home to glory, all the while kissing the waves that sanctify us. Sarah Morrison is a staff writer for The Daily Grace Co.
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