October 31, 2013
With a startled exclamation Mattie bolted upright in bed. It was still the early morning hours but her disturbing dream had awakened her. Her jolting outcry had disturbed Milo from a sound sleep.
"Vas ist letz?" (What's wrong?) He wanted to know.
"Oh, it's so strange," Mattie began. "Last night I had a disturbing dream but I didn't tell you about it, and now I've dreamed it again."
"Well, what did you dream?"
"I hate to admit it, but remember how you have been telling me that we can only be saved by the grace and love of God toward us?"
"I wanted to hold onto the tradition and the rules made by the church as a way for God to accept me into heaven. I knew if I believed the things you're telling me about simply receiving salvation through Christ's death on the cross, I am sure it would lead to some misunderstandings."
"Well it could, but what about your dream?"
"In my dream I saw myself walking on the sandy shores of the Sea of Galilee. Suddenly I came across a couple of deserted boats with nets so full of fish I thought they'd break. Why would a fisherman forsake such a large drought of fish when they could provide him with a month's wages?
"As I contemplated taking some for our supper I looked to my right and plainly saw Jesus with His disciples. He was talking directly to one I recognized as Peter.
"I couldn't help but hear Jesus ask him, "Lovest thou me more than these?" He was motioning toward the boat and fish where I stood.
"Peter strongly affirmed that He loved Jesus more than his earthly career and possessions. As I watched, Jesus asked him again if he loved Him, and Peter said, "Lord, you know that I love You."
"Then Jesus spoke the third time and this time He looked directly into my eyes with a look of compassion and asked me, "Do you love me more than these?"
"Milo, what do you think? How could I dream the same vivid colored dream two nights in a row? Do you think it is God's way of talking to me?"
"I don't believe that the devil would give you a dream with references to Scriptures in it. I do believe the Scriptural account is recorded in one of the Gospels."
"Oh my, vas sell ich du?" (what shall I do?)
"Let's pray together and ask God to show us what He wants us to do," Milo consoled Mattie.
After they prayed a prayer of submission to the will of God, Mattie felt at peace and the two got a few more hours of sleep before the rooster awakened them.
Regardless of the fact that all sorts of questions crowded into her mind, Mattie hummed some of the Hymns the young people used to sing in the singings. There was a peace that descended on her as she worked in her folk's Amish Country Store that morning.
"Well, you seem unusually cheerful this morning. Did something special happen to you?" Mattie's mother wanted to know.
"Yes, it did." Her reply was short and without disclosing much detail. Mattie wanted to drop the subject until she better understood how their prayer of acceptance of God's saving grace, and their submission to His plan could make such a difference in the way she felt.
With new energy and focus she served the customers that came to their country store and by evening she was ready to connect with Milo to see how he was doing. After the supper dishes were washed Milo reached for his Bible to find the account that would correspond with His wife's dream. He quickly scanned the Gospels till he came to St. John. There in the twenty-first chapter he read the account.
Mattie listened intently and broke into tears as Milo read the words of Jesus, "Lovest thou me more than these?"
"Do I really love Jesus more than this comfortable house my parents furnished for us? Do I love Jesus more than being well thought of, by other people? Do I love Jesus more than the provision we receive from working in the store?"
Mattie's soul-searching questions needed an answer and she knew that she and her husband were embarking on an unfamiliar journey.
Before the newly-weds went to bed that night, they knelt and asked God to help them love Him more than anything else, regardless of what that might look like.
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