“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:19-20
What makes us dream the dreams we dream? Is it something we ate? Is it the things we think about during the day? Is it what we heard with our ears or saw with our eyes? It could be one or all of the above. However; during Biblical times God used dreams and visions to speak to His people.
Joel tells us in chapter 2 and verse 28; “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.”
There are five stages of the sleep cycle. We cycle through all five, several times a night. I always believed we dreamed during our deepest sleep; however, according to HowStuffwworks.com, we dream during the first cycle called REM, rapid eye movement. Here are a few facts about REM sleep:
“During REM sleep, several physiological changes also take place. The heart rate and breathing quickens, the blood pressure rises, we can’t regulate our body temperature as well and our brain activity increases to the same level (alpha) as when we are awake, or even higher. The rest of the body, however, is essentially paralyzed until we leave REM sleep.”
We find several accounts of spiritual dreams, given to men in God’s Word. God gave men like Joseph, these critical dreams to change the end result. Dreams and visions stopped the plans of kings and rulers; who sought to destroy whole tribes of people. Isn’t God good to speak during the time of sleep; when a person is paralyzed to move? He chooses a time when a person is least likely to be distracted.
What a powerful message spoken to Joseph during his REM cycle! If he had put Mary away privately; it would have appeared to be a shameful thing. The angel told Joseph; “the Child conceived in Mary is of the Holy Spirit.”
Every dream is not from God. In fact; I would venture to say, very few dreams are from God. I believe I’ve had two spiritual dreams in my entire life. I still remember them like they were yesterday. Those dreams changed the way I live and pray.
Today, we hear God’s voice through His Word and prayer. Joseph’s God given dream changed his mind, regarding his wife Mary. This “little dream” impacts our beloved Christmas story. All was done according to the will of God. What a wonderful truth regarding the His(tory) of our Savior!
Prayer in Motion:
Thank You Lord for giving Joseph this “little” dream. Christ’s conception was not a shameful thing. You did not want Joseph to put Mary away privately. What a wonderful work You accomplished on our behalf. Our Redeemer and Savior was born through sweet Mary. Thank You seems trite, but again thank You for sharing this part of Christ’s story with us. In Jesus Name. Amen