By Tony Sullivan
Later it would be called “the scream heard ‘round the world.” However, that night it was the scream that roused both my parents to come to my rescue. It was the nightmare of nightmares, one that at age 66 I still remember.
We’ve all had them. Those unsettling and frightening dreams that wake us up in the night with our hearts pounding, our breathing shallow, and a fear to return to sleep.
There is always that reassuring calm that comes when we can say, “Thank goodness, it was only a dream.”
Daniel Had a Dream
At first Daniel’s dream seems completely unsettling. An ominous sign—four winds blowing as they churn the great sea. The horrific appearances of the beasts and the frightful metamorphosis of the small horn that possess the eyes of a man and then begins to speak with a mouth that utters great boasts. Who in his right mind would not be terrified, even traumatized? But then hope comes. The Ancient of Days comes and destroys the beasts and all they symbolize.
Our Own Nightmares
Like Daniel, we have our own nightmares. However, for us they are not dreams, nor are they visions. They are far too real: cancer, divorce, a child who is facing a court day, a parent suffering with Alzheimer’s. These beasts are real.
We are once again frightened children—children who cry out in the night for reassurance and protection. Then he comes, the Ancient of Days, and with him, the Son of Man. Through their power and grace they crush the beasts and give us peace and reassuring comfort.
Though all our problems will not vanish in an instant, the Ancient of Days will be there to go through them with us. The Son of Man will deliver us and we will be safe. Then, “the scream heard ‘round the world” will be become “the doxology heard throughout Heaven.”
Tony Sullivan is the evangelist of the Lester Road Christian Church in Fairburn, Georgia. He has also served as an associate evangelist with the Christian Restoration Association in Mason, Ohio for 20 years. He and his wife, Suzanne, have two married sons and seven grandchildren.
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