Opinion

Set free from nightmares

“It’s been nine days..” Ruth whispered to me on Sunday night in Parksville as we began the service. “I still dream but they are good dreams, and even my arthritis is better!” she added with a smile.

Here’s her story about what happened on a Wednesday evening in the sleepy hollow of Qualicum Beach.

Ruth writes: Seven of us met on Wednesday evening at a friend’s home. During our time discussing a passage from the Bible and its relevance today I made mention of terrorizing nightmares whenever I sleep. These began at three years of age, so you can guess how very many years they have persisted.

Toward the end of the evening it was suggested that we pray about the dilemma. I readily agreed. Hands were gently placed on me and I felt in a safe and trusting environment. The leader declared that I would be set free and that the little child would be secure in God’s love and care. I recalled a disturbing incident when I was three years old relating to the anger of my addicted parents. I was encouraged to invite Jesus into my bedroom to be present for the terrified little girl. Jesus came into that bedroom and ministered gently and stayed beside my small bed. I experienced peace as I placed my head on the pillow.

The prayer continued to another occasion when I was nine years old, this time relating to violent anger with my father that was extremely painful and traumatic. Again Jesus entered the room and came to my side to protect me and comfort me. I cried and was shaking as I sat in that chair; I hadn’t expected this at all. I was encouraged to forgive my parents for the hurt they caused me - as an act of the will - which I did. Blessing was prayed over that little girl, all trauma was commanded to leave, and peace with Jesus was released into her spirit.

I drove home that Wednesday evening in the warmth and wonder of the experience. When I slept on Wednesday night I had another frightening dream. I wakened early in terror and as usual went to the window. I’d learned to live with this reality so I raised my arms and hands in adoration and praise. As I’d been encouraged the previous evening, I deliberately invited Jesus into the terror of that Thursday morning and gradually it subsided.

On Friday morning I wakened after a pleasant dream! I was not afraid. I lay wide awake in my bed fully aware of being at peace. This was absolutely wondrous! Saturday was another morning of freedom. No terror; instead, outpouring gratitude, worship and thanksgiving. Every day since then.... freedom from nightmares for the first time in 70 years!

God is so much bigger than we imagine and he works in very specific and personal ways. Don’t allow religion, Easter bunnies, or chocolate steal the limelight this year. It is a privilege and a wonderful joy to witness him setting someone free today. Another man at the meeting woke up the next morning with a painful hand healed. This Jesus continues to touch, heal, and transform lives today.

John Cox is Senior Pastor of Jericho Road Church in Parksville and Port Alberni. E-mail: johncox@shaw.ca

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