Today’s article is a guest post by Ann Hitchcock. I have known Ann for over a decade and she walks in a deep friendship with the Lord. I asked her to relay her story about her dream because we’re living in an hour where we need to hear from multiple sources that the Lord is calling out to us to stop and listen to Him. Ann and her husband, Jeremy, live on the West Coast with their three children.
For as long as I can remember I have been a prolific dreamer. My nights are filled with an average of at least one, but usually two to three dreams and sometimes more. Each dream is in full color and has a vivid movie like quality where the characters and plot usually linger with me long after I have awoken.
Because dreams were such a normal part of my nights, I assumed that my nocturnal experiences were commonplace and not worth mentioning unless I had a particularly frightening nightmare. I had no idea that people still believed God could and would talk to them in their dreams. The churches I grew up in taught that the prophetic, dreams and visions and other possibly uncomfortable to deal with supernatural gifts and events had passed away.
So when I had a significant dream about a week before 9/11 my paradigm strongly suggested that this was just another nightmare and should be discounted no matter how shaken it made me feel. When the horror of 9/11 unraveled a few days later, I still had no grid for understanding my dream or the actual events as they unfolded.
When Darren asked me to write about this dream, I began searching my stacks of journals in order to get the details exactly right. I assumed I would have several entries referencing my dream and 9/11, not only because I journal so often, but because I have become so faithful about writing down and praying through my dreams. I had forgotten that this was not always the case and so perhaps one of the most significant dreams of my life went unrecorded.
Attacks With Planes
Here is what I do remember. In my dream I was in a major metropolitan city that was filled with skyscrapers and all kinds of people. The sidewalks and streets were filled with the hustle and bustle of people coming and going. In the midst of this typical day a large passenger airplane came crashing down into the city (I later realized it was New York) and it tore into a skyscraper with such ferocity that I knew no passengers had lived.
The wreckage of the plane lay smashed at the bottom of the building as the skyscraper itself began to crumble. Smoke and debris poured into the streets causing people to panic and run while the rubble continued to fall around them.
I was shaken and didn’t know what to do, but when I saw armed men who look Middle Eastern running from near the wreckage of the plane and among the crowds, I decided it was time to take off myself. The men weren’t shooting anyone yet, but I had the feeling the US was coming under attack.
There was a small chapel very close to the plane crash and I remember thinking that if I could get inside of its stone walls I would be safe. I ran inside, but no sooner was I in than the same men came crashing through the stain glass windows and were rounding up people. Just before I awoke I remember thinking, if the church is no longer safe, then where can we flee from this and from whatever else is coming?
Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment
I struggled to understand why God would give me this dream ahead of time, especially when He knew I wouldn’t recognize that He was speaking to me. I was humbled to learn that God shares His heart with His friends in many different ways including dreams, and He was sharing not only His heart with me, but was inviting me into a deeper and more consistent place of prayer. He didn’t revoke the invitation because I didn’t understand it, but He patiently awaited as I learned more about how He speaks, even in my dreams.
Since reading Darren’s book and renewing my commitment to pray for our country, God has been forming an image of a Nehemiah type people in my mind. The walls of God’s protection around our country have been breeched as a result of the choices our nation has made to move radically away from Him. Sadly, these choices have been made not just by those outside the church, but from those inside as well.
Yet it is still God’s heart to be merciful to our country, to have His people return to Him earnestly seeking His face, His favor, His will. He longs for a people who will endure insults, taunting and opposition like those who rebuilt the walls in Nehemiah because “…the people had a heart and mind to work.” Nehemiah 4:6
Even as Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabians, Ammonites and Ashdodites threatened to fight those rebuilding the wall, Nehemiah simply responded by setting armed men around the places where the wall was least protected. Then he said,
“Do not be afraid of the enemy, earnestly remember the Lord and imprint Him on your minds, great and terrible, and take from Him courage to fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
Rebuild The Broken Walls
The rebuilders were emboldened to carry on the work and their enemies turned and ran. From then on half of the people rebuilt and half were armed to protect the work.
“Those who built the wall and those bore burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other hand. And every builder had his sword girded by his side, and so worked.”
The cry of my heart is that God’s people would arise with swords in hand to rebuild the broken walls around our nation. And what are our swords? The Word of God and prayer! Let us set our minds on the Lord, take our courage from Him and fight (persevering prayer) for our brethren, for our families, for our homes that God might come in His mercy and power to do a mighty work in our nation once again.