by Annette Bridges. © 2008. All rights reserved.
I had an excruciating night filled with one bad dream after another. It seemed my every fear, doubt and uncertainty was coming true in my dreams. The images seemed so real, so feasible and so possible that I woke up almost believing they had really happened. I felt exhausted, sad and even angry. But nothing had really happened.As I sit here in the morning light, it seems amazing to me that such unreal images could produce very real feelings and emotions.
I recall reading an illustration in Mary Baker Eddy’s book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She refers to a “blundering dispatch” which arrives with the news a friend has died. But it turns out this news is a mistake that is corrected shortly in another dispatch. She suggests that the incorrect dispatch would cause the same grief you would feel if your friend had truly passed on — showing how anguish can be the result of your belief and not fact. So I thought to myself, “My bad dream was only a blundering dispatch!”
I can’t help but also be reminded of many times when Jesus received what he may have thought of as “blundering dispatches.” One example was when Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, asked Jesus to come to his house to heal his sick daughter. But on their way there, a messenger arrived saying it was too late — that she had died. This information didn’t deter Jesus, however. He said, “Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.” Even when they arrived at the ruler’s house and all around were grieving, Jesus said “Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.” (Luke 8:41,42,49-56) And he raised the little girl from death much to everyone’s doubts and amazement.
Nothing kept Jesus from knowing and proving the power of God — the laws of God that govern His children. Not bad news, lack of time, opinions, fears or even physical evidence could keep Jesus from believing what God knows and proclaims about His creation. And he proved this divine knowledge to be the transforming truth in every situation he confronted.
Perhaps you feel like you are living a bad dream right now. The evidence surrounding you is no illusion — whether your house has been destroyed in a tornado or your marriage has ended in divorce or you have no money to pay your mortgage payment. In such life situations, you may wish you were only dreaming!
There have been many times in my life when I felt this way. There were semesters in college when I didn’t have enough money for the tuition, and I had no idea how I would come up with what was needed. There have been relationships that ended badly, and I felt like I would never meet my soul mate. After a miscarriage, I was afraid I would never get pregnant again. When our only child left for college, I struggled with unbearable feelings of loneliness, depression and uncertainty. Living on a Texas ranch, we’ve experienced both droughts and excessive rains that dramatically impacted our income.
It has been through looking closely at Jesus’ healings that I’ve been learning how to lift myself out of bad and difficult life experiences. I’ve discovered that the first and most important step out of turmoil is a shift in my outlook and frame of reference from the problem to divine promise.
Jesus certainly seemed undaunted by human testimony and appearances. He held firm to what God knows, sees, wants and expects for His creation. And this point of view and conviction — this spiritual knowledge — was clearly healing, illuminating and more powerful than any opinion or evidence to the contrary.
We can all turn to the divine perspective that provides an expansive, fresh view. A view that reassures and promises that there will be a new day, a solution, redemption, forgiveness, new opportunities and possibilities, peace of mind, progress, and accomplishment. There is no time frame to limit or restrict divine direction and development — so it’s never too late. Nothing is impossible. And I can only imagine that what God knows and expects for my life and yours is better and grander than anything we can foresee.
In my own life, my goal of a college degree was achieved, I met my husband of 27 years, I had a beautiful baby girl, I’ve discovered satisfying interests and passions I’ve only begun to explore, and no matter the amount of money, our needs have always been met.
While I would never want anyone to experience or live a bad dream, if we are faced with such, we can prove them to be only a “blundering dispatch” and not what God wants for His creation. And we can find and experience what God expects by looking to and listening for His guidance that will always lead us higher than where we are — to more desirable and infinite possibilities.