From Darkness to Light

(Dream in November 1988)

This dream is found in My Testimony, but here I give a little more detail surrounding the circumstances, setting the stage for the most powerful dream I’ve ever had. Among all the dreams God has given me, this one by far stands out from the rest. I think you will see why. 

I shared a story with someone just recently about this period in my life from what I consider to be of my darkest days, yet also consider as the most precious days of my life because they led me to Christ. I had been in a period of rebellion, and though I had grown up in the church, I had only the “head knowledge” of God and lacked any real relationship. I even sensed His constant presence, even in times of rebellion, but I only wanted Him on my terms, not His.

Unhappy, unfulfilled, and discontent with my life, I sought out the things of this world to bring me peace, satisfaction, and happiness. Alas, they did—for a short time anyway—only a short time. Then came the day when everything changed, and the light in my soul burned out.

“There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12).

Suddenly, my world grew dark--very dark--and I was terrified. I found myself in an absolute void, feeling total emptiness, in a black hole of depression, filled with tremendous fear, completely lost. I had experienced fear before, but this was a fear I had never known. This was different. This was deeper. This was serious, and I knew it!

“Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look on wickedness with favor” (Hab. 1:13). 

God hid His face (Is. 59:2) and purposely withheld the light of His restraining grace from me for a time. (Is. 54:7.8) I no longer “felt” His presence. He had been so gracious for so long to remind me He was there and I took Him for granted. I was now on my own. (Romans 1:28) I assumed that “presence” I’d felt would always be there when I needed it. Suddenly, it was gone. What had I done? What was I going to do?  So self-absorbed in my search for happiness and fulfillment, I felt I had gone too far!

Several weeks passed as I walked around in dense black fog disguising my pain with a painted on smile. I had become a professional at pretending—The Great Pretender! I’d even fooled myself. One night however, emotionally wrought, physically exhausted, and mentally confused, I lay in bed and cried myself to sleep. (Ps. 13:1)

Suddenly, I awoke to find myself behind a tall chain link fence, similar to those I had seen made for prisons. The kind that has angled barbed wire capping the top of the fence. It was pitch black, yet I could make out the details of the fence. I knew where I was, but not really. I was confused. Then I recognized a more sinister feeling. Something on my right captured my attention. 

I turned to experience the most distressing of sounds, hideous of screams, and foulest of smells. I sensed fear, insecurity, anger, and hatred on a level I had never known. I sensed the worst of all evil and wickedness. I tried to run, but the darkness grabbed my arm.  

I pulled, but the darkness pulled back. I pulled harder; the darkness pulled harder still. I screamed; the darkness pulled even harder. I could feel the grip that darkness had on my arm. It wasn’t going to let go. I was moving slowly into the black hole of darkness, struggling and screaming, yet realizing I was completely powerless. 

Then, I felt a sudden warmth wash over the left side of my face. I turned my head to find a glorious light—a white light—amazingly brilliant. Standing there in the middle of the brilliance was my Salvation, Jesus!  (Heb. 1:3) I recognized Him immediately. Accompanying Jesus was a mighty heavenly host, but He was inside the fence with me. His was the most beautiful face I had ever seen. His were the most loving eyes I had ever seen and they were looking directly into mine. So kind, so gentle, so forgiving. 

I reached out my left hand and said, “Lord, save me!” 

Jesus reached out His right hand, and through the power of His love alone, I began to move slowly “out of the domain of darkness, into His glorious light.” (Col. 1:13) Just as I was about to touch His hand, I awoke. It was a dream. An amazing dream. A dream that I will never forget. One that is just as real today as the night I dreamt it. It would be my defining moment. 

The dream was a gift from God given to me.  The dream was an imagery of my deliverance through Jesus Christ when I turned from my rebellious ways and cried out to Him. I had pursued happiness and fulfillment in the world for years, and found only despair. He wanted me to "see" that my joy could only be found in Him, and hiding His face for a time got my attention. My life would indeed never be the same.

"God is to us a God of deliverance; and to God the Lord belong escapes from death." (Ps. 68:20)

I can still remember the pain of darkness as clearly as I remember the dream. I want never to forget either, for now I feel I can fully understand others who are in that place of rebellion and headed for darkness. I see my darkest days as the beginning of my most glorious days. My darkness brought me the deepest sense of loneliness and longing that only Christ could fill. Jesus showed me that He would go to the lowest of places just for me, to save me from something over which I was completely powerless.