I've been dreaming a lot lately. Not the imagine your greatest wish kind of dreaming, the actual literal, pictures in your head while you sleep kind of dreaming. And it's been all night long, right up till when I awaken. It's been the kind of dreaming that I will see things, snapshots, pictures, hear words, and see stories kind of dreaming. Sometimes I've even woken up in the middle of the dream and been able to lay back down and go back to sleep and continue the dream kind of dreaming. Makes me wonder if I might be losing my mind kind of dreaming, and I've even been wondering if it's the God has something to say kind of dreaming. (Yes, He does that.)
This morning I had a very clear picture I saw and I heard words very clearly just before my alarm went off. The picture was this, a flower in the wind.
Fist I saw the flower being overpowered, bent and crumpled by the wind. Then I saw the same flower stretch out into the wind, and it was like the wind expanded it instead of bending it. Every petal was stretched out in all its color and glory, it looked powerful, beautiful and strong. Then just before I woke I very clearly heard the words. "It is beautiful when it stands against adversity."
I stumbled across my room and turned off my alarm, the words resonated. "It is beautiful when it stands against adversity."
I looked up adversity this morning. It's a pretty broad definition: distress; affliction; hardship. Who among us isn't dealing with adversity in their lives? Who among us isn't consistently under some level of distress or hardship? Affliction?
My current adversity is eclectic and widespread. Just this morning was a morning of adversity. It's the kind of day when you actually wonder to yourself what you were thinking when you decided to have children adversity (if you never entertained the thought for even a moment, your children are too young.) It was the kind of Murphy's law morning where everything that could go wrong did- the miss every light, leave five minutes too late, get stuck in traffic, nothing goes your way kind of adversity.
This morning, I bent under the wind. I grumbled and fussed, I was ruder than I should have been, angrier than I could justify, I was crumpled, ugly and overcome with adversity this morning.
Then my dream came back to me. I was driving away from what threatened to be a meltdown from adversity (it wasn't but it was close) and close enough I wasn't very proud of myself. Then the Lord reminded me of my dream. I was not letting the wind expand me, I let it break me. (What would I do in a real crisis I wonder?)
It was a moment of decision, and an opportunity to turn into the wind and I did. And things didn't get better. There were more red lights, more long lines, more challenges and difficulties, but I didn't bend. I laughed it off, let it go, remembered that I am "but dust," and needed to be moving in the same grace I am saved by. Giving grace, letting things go and standing.
On my way back to work, in the last long line of adversity before I got here, I was laughing, light, joking. A woman behind the counter thanked me for making her day better. I couldn't help but think of my frustrated stares and angry crossed arms that may have made another woman behind another counter and how I may have made her day worse. Sad when I can see and consider what a simple decision on my part made a difference.
Whatever we face, any adversity at all-- little things like in my day, or big challenges that cannot compare-- "It is beautiful when it stands against adversity."
We are beautiful when we stand against adversity, because it is then that Christ is able to be reflected in us and in the world around us, even if they don't know that's what it is. IT makes the world a happier place for us all.
Stand against the wind, and let your colors in Christ shine.