Some people look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them that God speaks to me in my dreams. This is one of those rare times that my confidence isn’t shaken by the opinion of others. I know God speaks to me, just as he spoke to Daniel and Joseph*. It’s easier for me to weed out my regular dreams from the dreams that God has placed there. My dreams jump around, they don’t make sense, and they are easily forgotten. When God gives me a dream I wake up and I cannot shake the images from my head. I remember every detail, every feeling, and every dialogue. I feel well rested afterwards, unlike those “I have to get this done” dreams that go on and on and you can never complete a task. But most of all I just know; it is a feeling in my soul that can’t be shaken: “That was of God”.
The other night I had such a dream.
I stood on my backyard deck after the sun had gone down. The Hawk perched high in a pine tree and guarded the yard (If you aren’t familiar with my Hawk experiences and its significance, you can read about it HERE).
To the right of my vision I saw movement in the shadows. As I turned my gaze toward the place of movement, a fox came trotting into my yard. Although I was intrigued by the fox and excited by its appearance, I knew it should not be in my yard. I fixed my gaze back on the Hawk and saw that the Hawk was not pleased with the fox. The Hawk’s sharp eyes followed the fox as the fox continued to trot toward me.
Then suddenly The Hawk swooped from his guard post in the pine and struck the fox. Several hawk feathers fell to the grass and I thought to myself, “I will go pick up the feathers later.”
I wanted a hawk feather more than anything. They were reddish-brown and striped with white. They were large, strong, yet soft to the touch. Yes, I wanted one of those hawk feathers.
The fox faught back, snarling and baring its teeth. With each attack, The Hawk dropped more feathers. There were so many feathers on the grass, I thought The Hawk must be balding and bare, but its plumage was as full and as beautiful as ever. The Hawk continued to swoop and attack the fox until finally the fox clamped his jaws around the neck of The Hawk. The fox turned and trotted toward me with a mouth full of feathers. “Well done fox!” I thought, then quickly realized “No, I wanted The Hawk to win!” and with that thought I saw that although the fox had a mouth full of feathers, it was not The Hawk in its mouth. The Hawk was back in His perch high in the Pine tree, watching. The Hawk watched as the fox spit the feathers out of its mouth and approached me.
I was excited. The fox was so cute and fluffy.
He looked so jolly and playful, wagging his bushy tail. I stood on the lower portion of my deck and reached my hand toward the oncoming fox. The fox quickly approached my hand and began to nuzzle it. At my side were two children, who started to reach their hands toward the fox too. Their mother stopped them with a guiding voice, “Do not go near that fox. Don’t you dare touch it. It is a sly creature who hides its biting teeth with cuteness and playfulness.”
I woke up and immediately began to pray about it. It needed interpretation. I usually run to my dream dictionary for help, I love looking up my dreams and trying to interpret them (I love doing this for other people as well), but not for my God given dreams. I rely on good old-fashioned prayer for interpretation. I don’t want to muffle God’s voice with the voices of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung (Freud’s interpretations turn anything into a phallus anyway).
The Hawk – In my waking life, the hawk has been an answer to prayer and a sign of God’s presence. The hawk in my dream represented God, my guardian and protector. Psalm 121:7 The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life
My Yard – The boundaries of my yard represent the boundaries I try to keep in my waking life. From the very beginning of the dream I knew the fox was not supposed to be in my yard, and yet my curiosity and intrigue prevented me from driving it out myself. Song of Solomon 2:15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.
The Fox – The fox is a sly creature and represents many things that try to slip their way into my thoughts and life that shouldn’t be there. These are the things that lure me in with an attractive appearance only to bite me later. Things like getting my identity from anything other than God, seeking affirmation from people, trying to fix and understand everything, and following my own selfish desires instead of where God is calling me. 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
The Attack – The hawk attacked the fox to protect me and show me that the fox did not belong in my yard. When I am unable to fight God fights for me, even when my inability comes from ignorance and curiosity. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.
The Feathers – The feathers are the promises and blessings that God freely gives during every attack. As he fought off my enemy for me, he left me with strong and beautiful blessings to remind me of his faithfulness and presence. And although he gives out many blessings, he never runs out or grows weary, he always has more to give. James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
The Hawk in the Foxes Jaws– The hawk looked to be defeated in the jaws of the fox, and then it was suddenly back in the pine tree. This is the most shameful part of my dream. I could not believe even for a split second that I rejoiced with the fox instead of The Hawk. This represents Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is my sin that put Jesus on the cross but it also reminds me that even death could not defeat Jesus. There maybe times when it looks like there is no hope, but Jesus is not defeated. It is at these times that I must choose whether or not I believe that the grace of God has saved me and that his son has died for my sins. 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit
The Approach of the Fox– Again I am given a choice whether I will allow something to enter into my boundaries. The Hawk sat perched in the Pine continuing to guard me, even though I chose the fox. The Hawk did not abandon me, but allowed the fox to approach me. Sometimes God allows the devil to tempt me because I learn and grow from it. Again, I must choose whether I will resist the devil, or allow him in. 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
The mother and her children – This represents the guidance I can receive from those that I trust. The mother cares deeply for her children and will guide them with lessons she has learned; they trust her guidance. The Hawk showed me that the fox was not good, but I didn’t understand why. The mother was wiser than me and was able to articulate why the fox was not good. “[The fox] is a sly creature who hides its biting teeth with cuteness and playfulness.” Who do I trust to go to for guidance when I struggle to understand God’s ways? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
This dream was a warning from God. Dream Liz was so easily swayed to follow the fox. Upon waking I was ashamed that I went against everything I knew with such ease. The metaphorical foxes of my life are just a sly as the fluffy orange fox in my dream. God was also encouraging me to go to the people I trust for guidance. Sometimes I don’t understand God’s ways and it’s important for me to surround myself with Godly people I trust and listen to them when I am rejecting God’s ways.
I know I will return to this imagery for the rest of my life. What a blessing God has given me! I have already been applying it to my life, and I am so thankful for the warning, because I have already had to actively resist the devil.
(*If you aren’t familiar with the stories of Daniel and Joseph, check them out in a bible: Daniel 2, Genesis 37 & 41)