Dreams and pigeons

A friend of ours had a dream last week. Let me tell you about it:
She was on a bus with her son and myself. It was your typical Pakistani bus, crammed full of people and hurling down roads that would make SUVs cautious. For quite some time we travelling through mountains and valleys, sometimes coming very close to crashing or flying off the road. Eventually we came to a raging river which was running parallel to the road. After an especially large bump the bus flipped upside-down and landed in the river! It was deep and very fast. No hope for any of us. Suddenly some hands appeared. They grabbed me, my friend and her son, took us from the river and set us gently on the road where we were soon joined by our families. Everyone else drowned. And so she woke up.

I place a lot of value on the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints (though Preservation might be a better word to use). Not just because it is blatantly biblical, but also because it is wonderfully comforting and empowering. As we ride on the crazy Paki-bus of life over rocks and valleys we come close to crashing and burning many times. Usually we’re saved from falling too much. But what if we do fall too far? What if we find ourselves falling into the swelling rapids of depression, unbelief and sin? What if we find ourselves approaching a place that we know believers cannot go? It seems like we’re falling away, or perhaps we were never on board to begin with. Then what happens?

Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself struggling with depression. Ruth and I are rather alone here and it’s hard to keep looking at things with a biblical eye. It’s hard to remember why we’re here. It’s hard to be happy. It’s hard to love God, and that one’s scary because disobedience to the greatest command is the greatest sin. Shortly after hearing my friend’s dream I asked God to show me himself. Show me something that will wake me up from this sinful apathy. The next day an American showed up at my house who gave me no end of encouragement in the work that we’re trying to do. Two days after that I got a call from Nigel Barham who sent me a taxi so I could see him in Karachi. Time with him was unbelievable encouraging and fruitful as we talked about what’s going on in this crazy country. I met a wonderful Pakistani family who is doing amazing work here. I met with other people, too and got letters in the mail from others. I’m frustrated that I can’t share everything that happened this weekend with all these people because of security reasons. Suffice to say that we have been encouraged out of our minds!

So what happens when a believer comes close to the edge? What happens when your faith is in the whirlpool and on the verge of shipwreck? What happens when all hope is lost and you see no where to go but down?

When you’ve played out
Your last chance
And your directions
Have all been lost
When the roads that you look down
Are all dead ends
Look up
You could see if you’d just look up

You’re on the verge of a miracle
Standing there
Oh you’re on the verge of a miracle
Just waiting to be believed in
Open your eyes and see
You’re on the verge of a miracle