Fires and Reservoirs

I was awakened at 1:30 AM this morning with a dream.

It was night time, and we were alerted to a fire in the neighborhood (not where we currently live, but in a neighborhood somewhere in Austin). We somehow had access to some kind of an emergency scanner, which let us know about this fire.

I got in the car and drove to the end of the block and turned left. There was the house fire, several houses down on the left.

As I approached the house that was burning, I noticed the house next door to it had the garage door open and the light was on. The only thing inside was some kind of a game table, like foosball or something. There were two men playing the game, either oblivious to what was going on right outside their door or not caring at all about it.

I pulled up to the curb on the opposite side of the street behind a fire truck, and I remembered what the firefighters had instructed us to do when our home burned last year – to move the vehicles. So I backed up to a safe distance several houses away and got out of the car.

As I walked up the sidewalk to the people whose home was on fire, I could see that the smoke was pouring across the street to where they stood. It filled the air, and I could smell it and it was making me choke a little. As I approached, I saw that the upper floor was fully engulfed in flames, and while some firefighters battled that blaze, others were downstairs placing large red fire tarps over the furniture and grabbing photographs to bring out.

I walked up to the family and said, “I just went through this very thing a few months ago, so I understand. What can I do for you? I’m here. I understand.”

Here is where I woke up. The dream was so real that for about a half hour I could still smell smoke (like it gets on the inside of your nostrils and takes a while to work its way out).

While there is a very practical side to this dream, there is also a strong spiritual meaning as well, one that I believe we should all pay attention to.

  1. As we stay close to the Father’s heart, we become privy to information that He only reveals to those who are truly listening and whom He has equipped to go and meet the need (the emergency scanner). 
  2. He positions us where we can be of greatest accessibility to the need – right in the neighborhood. Every situation we find ourselves in throughout our daily lives has the potential to become a mini mission field. Need is all around us. 
  3. There are those who are playing games and will not be bothered by the obvious and desperate needs of those around them. Don’t be one of them. 
  4. Wisdom prevails. Know what to take into the situation and what to leave behind. The car needed to be left behind while I proceeded on foot. 
  5. Our experiences, no matter how painful and difficult, become a valuable resource when we are faced with the needs of others. If you have “been there, done that,” thank God for it. Use it to connect with someone else who needs what you have right here and right now.

As I prayed about this dream, the Lord spoke to me clearly, saying, ” I sometimes allow My people to go through very difficult places because it creates a deeper well inside you of compassion and understanding from which you will be able to draw when I bring you to others who are hurting in the same way.”

The word that keeps coming to me is reservoir. It means this:

A natural or artificial place where water is collected and stored for use, especially water for supplying a community, irrigating land, furnishing power, etc.

Of course, an artificial reservoir in context of this discussion would be one that we create ourselves, using our own “wisdom”  and “understanding;” one that is faulty at best and filled with tainted water. A natural reservoir is created by HIS hand, using HIS tools, and is filled with the water that brings life and causes all things to become new.

Notice the purposes of a reservoir:

  1. Supplying a community (outreach)
  2. Irrigating land (facilitating growth)
  3. Furnishing power (equipping the saints)

I know which one I want inside me. How about you?

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