About a week and half ago, I dreamed about Ray Charles for two nights consecutively. I listened to his music growing up but I wasn't an avid fan or anything, so I couldn't figure out why I would be dreaming about him. Yes he was a great musician and artist, but I hadn't been listening to any particular songs or watched any movies regarding Ray Charles, which might have kept him in the forefront of my mind. Nevertheless for two nights, he visited me in my sleep. I walked around for a couple of days afterwards thinking about it (it just seemed so strange to me) and then forgot about it until yesterday.
Ray Charles, although blind, was not blind from birth. He didn't begin losing his sight until he was a young boy about 7 years old. Because he had been with sight for this period of time, it meant that he had already learned his primary colors. By age seven, he would already have known his alphabet and how to read. He would have witnessed the sunrise and watch it set in the sky. He would have already seen buttons and learned how to button his shirt and tie his own shoes. By age seven, he would have played kickball, dodge ball, baseball, and hide and seek. By age 7, Ray already had a view of the world and how to function in it.
Because of his past experience with sight, there were certain things that he would have already experienced and had an internal memory. If you've ever seen a video clip of Ray walking with assistance, you'll notice that he wasn't a tentative walker. Different from a person born blind, he already knew what a floor looked like and how it felt to have the earth push up against the sole of his foot as he walked. Different from a child born blind, he undoubtedly had seen a staircase and had climbed a set of stairs before and would already known how high to lift his leg when climbing them. He didn't have to rely on someone else's testimony of what something was because he already had a recollection from birth to age 7.
By dreaming about Ray Charles, I believe the Lord was trying to tell me to trust what I already know to be true. Sometimes we get caught up in the "now situation" and forget about the deliverance or experience of God in the past.
• We might have financial difficulties now, but we have to recall the times when God supplied our needs in the past and we paid all of our bills on time.
• We might be faced with the loss of a loved one now, but we can recall how God gave us peace over an unsettled situation in the past.
• We might have a decision to make now and are simply scared of the unknown, but we can recall how God helped us to channel our fears in the past and we stepped out on faith anyway.
If you think about it, EVERY thing that you are faced with now, God in some way has already given you proof from the past that He is with you.
Sunday, we had a guest preacher, who preached from Psalm 119:71, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” or the Message bible says it like this "My troubles turned out all for the best- they forced me to learn from your textbook." Being a teacher, I love the idea of learning from a textbook. A textbook is a manual or guide of sorts that has several chapters, which have their own learning objectives. If it's a Chemistry book, one chapter might be about chemical reactions. This particular chapter would share all of the types of chemical reactions. It would give sample reactions of compounds and elements reacting together. The joy is this though; you would have never skipped directly to these chapters, without being introduced to the periodic table of elements. You first need to know that the periodic table is a table of the chemical elements in which the elements are arranged by order of atomic number in such a way that the periodic properties of the elements are made clear. Knowing the periodic table is a baby step or the necessary foundational information, so you can tackle how they react in a chemical reaction.
As a podiatrist, I can tell you the different degrees of ankle sprains or types of foot fractures. I also learned the tools that would help me to repair them surgically, if necessary. However before I got to that part of training in the textbook, I first needed to know that the hip bone's connected to the thigh bone and the thigh bone's connected to the leg bone...(you remember that song, don't you?) Then I would have already known how the phalanges connect with the metatarsals that connect with cuneiforms and cuboid that both touch the navicular, which sits in front of the talus. The talus rests upon the calcaneus while serving as a support for the tibia and fibula in the the leg. (Oh I'm sorry did I get to deep for you?.... I just got excited about the foot.) What I'm trying to say is that God prepares us for everything we need, if we would just follow the textbook from the beginning. Recall what He's done for you in the past, then rest because you know that your present situation and your future are directly in the palm of His hand.
Just as Ray Charles had a foundation from his past "knowing", which enabled him to tackle his current situation; God, too, places us in situations not to hurt us, but to remind us that He's got us. He doesn't require us to tackle the chemical reactions in the textbook, until we have been quizzed properly over the periodic table of elements. You might ask" so why do I keep going over the same situation?"; maybe you need to go back and remember that Oxygen is a nonmetal that has an atomic number of 8.
Go back to the basics!
Don't rush God, but rather trust Him in the process! Recognize that this is a PROCESS! You can't cross the finish line, until you begin the race properly in the starting blocks.
Be encouraged my sister and my brother, whatever you are faced with now, go back and remind yourself of the promises of God....those baby steps. You already have the foundation, you just have to believe that it will work out for your good!
So let you calcaneus strike the floor, gain forward momentum, pushing off of your phalanges and WALK IT OUT.........