Because I have been a student of dreams for many years, I paid particular attention to the specificity of the message: Lufkin, Texas. Immediately, upon arising from the bed, I went to the computer and "Googled" Lufkin, Texas. I learned a lot about this East Texas community of roughly 35,000. However, my heart made no connection with the historical, cultural or social demographics of this averaged sized community.
For the dream to "speak," our hearts must have that "aha" moment when connection is made from the abstract to the concrete. I was a bit frustrated that I found no relevance in the information I had gleaned. But, knowing God was trying to give me direction from my "nocturnal- news -bulletin", I wrote the dream in my journal and continued to pray over it and re-read it every few days.
One morning during my regular time of prayer and meditation, I retrieved my dream journal and read again my entry concerning Lufkin, Texas. I spoke these two words out loud; slowly letting each syllable roll off my tongue in different accented combinations: "LUF...kin....Tex...as...." or "Luf...KIN....Tex....as"....or ..."Luf...kin...TEX....as"...or "Luf...kin...Tex...AS"....After completing this exercise several times a light began flickering in my heart....I said it again..."Luf ...kin...Tex...us..." Yeah!!!! I had it: "Luf= love....kin=can...Tex=test....as=us." 'LOVE CAN TEST US."
Yes! I got it! The dream in the message was telling me that: LOVE CAN TEST US !
As I considered this phrase, the Holy Spirit began to download it's truth. First, God is love. And God can (has the legitimate right) to test us (to prove our devotion to Him.) How easy is it to profess our commitment to His kingdom when all is well, the flocks are thriving, the grain is in the barn the river runs deep and cool. What happens to our spiritual vows when all of life becomes a meaningless storm of pain and confusion? Is there to be found in our hearts the same response that issued forth from the mouth of His servant Job:" Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." (Job 13:15)
I saw the pages of the Bible being turned like leaves falling from a giant Oak tree. On each leave was the name of one of the heroes of faith and next to their name was their "love-test" and their "grade."
Abraham....commanded to sacrifice Isaac......passed "A+"
Joseph......seduced by Potipher's wife.......passed "A+"
Moses....commissioned to lead the Children of Israel out of bondage...passed "A+"
....commanded to speak to the Rock to release water for the Children....failed "F"
Esther...commissioned to approach the King, uninvited, to save the Hebrew people.....passed "A+"
Gideon...commissioned to tear down the alter of Baal....passed "A+"
David...anointed to be King...waited 14 years...passed "A+_
David...tempted to commit adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah's wife...failed "F"
Job...tempted to curse God and die, after losing all his children and possessions....passed "A+"
Jonah...commissioned to go preach repentance to the Ninevites.....failed "F"...then relented..."B"
Mary...accepted divine destiny to bring forth Jesus from her womb, even though she was a virgin...passed "A+"
Woman with the alabaster jar....commissioned to take her most precious possession and pour it out on Jesus...passed "A+"
Judas...tempted to betray the Lord.....failed "F"
Peter...called to walk on water...passed "A+"
Peter...tempted to betray the Lord...failed "F"
Peter...commissioned to feed His sheep...passed "A+"
Jesus...tempted in every way as we are tempted, yet without sin... passed "A+"
We are all called to prove our allegiance to the Lord; not that the Lord is "wondering" if we are going to pass the test! The trials are to allow us to "know" our own hearts. If we never find ourselves in the furnace of affliction, how then are we able to be "called out." (Is.48:10) If the raging, gale force winds of wanton temptation never buffet our house, how will we know our foundation stands firm. (Luke 6:48) If the hissing serpent never whispers his insidious slanders in our ears, how will we know we have the power to tread over him as an insignificant scorpion? (Luke 10:19)
Yes! Love can test us. Love demands the right to prove us in every area of our lives....and...we are thankful. Always remembering that He that began a good work in us will perform it and complete it until the Day of Jesus Christ...even so "Come quickly Lord Jesus."