Last night I dreamt of losing things, a dream of frustrations, trying to get places and unable to, trying to find things that have disappeared, trying to find people you need to see. You know this kind of dream.
Before I woke up, the last thing I lost in the dream was my wedding ring. My wedding and engagement rings are fused together, so I'd lost the pair of them. This loss made me truly frantic. I was running through buildings, sorting through piles of jewelry, looking for them.
And then ... I woke up. And I was overwhelmed with relief to know that it was only a dream! My finger felt the familiar weight of the two rings. I sighed at the comfort. They weren't lost at all! Have you ever felt waves of relief when you awake, and all is well? The horrors of the realm of sleep are gone forever? They weren't real at all.
When I woke this morning I thought instantly of the parallel. What relief we will feel when we die (although God tells us repeatedly that we will "never perish," so perhaps we should think of a different term for the event), and we awake with Jesus, and all the things we thought we'd lost -- all the relationships, all the opportunities, all the precious people and places, all the irretrievable losses -- we discover are not lost at all! The life here on this fallen planet will be the dream, the sleep. We will wake fully into eternity when all precious things are returned to us. Eternity on that New Earth is the Real. This life, in comparison, is much like sleeping, and its trials like the empty agonies of dreams.
Thank you, Jesus.