Troubling Thoughts

Beauty from the Bramble

I have nightmares that make me weep.
Dark thoughts unbidden from the deep.
Disturbing dreams that make me wonder,
Where did I get their ugly thunder?
The haunting of my sleep.

Then I think of Joseph, the dreamer from of old.
A baker asked Joseph what his dream foretold.
In this nightmare birds picked at his bread.
“It means three days till you’re hanged and dead.”

Shaken I ask, “What’s my dreams meaning?”
This ugliness my mind is weaving.
Do they reflect what I am inside?
Take them, please take them, I can’t abide.

The Lord’s response:

Three days I spent in death’s dark terror,
that your nightmares may be condemned as error.
I arose with dawn just and true.
be assured I have good dreams for you,
Remember this, the fight’s been won.
My mercy is new as the coming sun.

epilog

Each morning I awake of this I know,
His unfailing love won’t me let go.
So if fears and hurts plague your thought,
Know that each one He has bought
and buried forever in the deepest hell.
That you might draw joy from salvation’s well.

Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies. Psalm 23:4-5

Morning After Nightmares

Awaken to the Morning

Sunrise against the clouds

I awaken just short of being devoured.
The fear lingers on.
My mind is stalked by the night terror.
I call out to Jesus and He comes to hold me like a mother holds her child.
Together we review the truth,
The verses of His compassion and faithfulness.
The depths of his love explored.
The nightmare cannot come it is left outside.
I am made ready for the day.

Overcoming the Night

This morning I woke up at 3 AM chased by a nightmare. The dread of my thoughts kept me from falling back asleep. So I tried to pray, but the nightmare kept interfering. Finally in desperation I resorted to reciting “The Lord’s Prayer.”

“Our Father… my Father… my loving Father, hallowed be Thy name.” Yes, the name of Jesus, like a breath of fresh air, began to push my nightmare aside, for holiness does not tolerate the unholy. “Thy kingdom come,” a kingdom of rightness, and goodness, the thought of which makes me rejoice and desire its coming. “Thy will be done, on earth (here and now in me in triumph over my ugly thoughts) as it is in heaven.” How wonderful to know He will impress upon me, and my life, His good and perfect will (blessed are those who hunger and thirst for rightness for they shall be satisfied). As I prayed this for myself, I also prayed this for my family, my church, and my friends. It was at this point I could see clearly that my thoughts set the stage for this day, by either allowing them to drag me into dark ugly places or through prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit to behold the beauty of the Lord and worship Him in His temple.

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple. (Psalm 27:4)

I cannot control my nightmares, but I can ask Jesus to push them away and fill me with His goodness. He even gave me a prayer for that very purpose.