20 Aug

Several nights ago I had a dream. Actually, it was a nightmare. (To be discrete, I am going to leave out certain details.)

In my dream, there was a boy named Charlie. He was known to be playfully mischievous and sometimes people didn’t appreciate his antics (I’m not sure why this characteristic was present, but it was). There was something unique that we knew about Charlie. We all knew how he was going to die.

As events began to unfold in my dream, we realized that the time had arrived for Charlie to die. We ran around and earnestly tried to prevent the foreseen accident from happening. However, we were always blocked in some manner from being able to reach Charlie. As we struggled to free ourselves, we knew what was happening to Charlie in an unseen location. Finally, we were freed from whatever “force” or circumstance was preventing us from reaching him. We found Charlie and frantically tried to save him as he took his last breath. However, he was already gone.

I instantly awoke from my dream. I was sweating. As I gathered my senses, that still small voice spoke to me: “You were powerless to prevent Charlie from dying. It was his appointed time.” Then, the voice repeated itself: “Don’t you see? Just like you were powerless to prevent Charlie from dying, you were also powerless to prevent Isaac from dying. It was his appointed time.”

I wrestled with my thoughts. The image of Charlie and the image of Isaac kept overlapping in my mind. The circumstances of their deaths were eerily similar. I asked “Is that really you Lord, speaking to me reassuringly?” I am hesitant to assign meaning to every dream, but this one seems to be quite pertinent. My spirit has been unsettled, and yet I feel as though I have been taught a valuable lesson.  God has determined the number of our days. “Lord, help me not to doubt that you would even teach me through this dream.”

Regarding God’s appointed time for man, the Bible says:

Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; (Job 14:5)

In humility,



Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Grief, Spiritual and Emotional


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10 responses to “Charlie

  1. Peter Wiebe

    August 20, 2012 at 7:06 AM

    I don’t know how many times I have berated myself for not taking Jesse to the hospital sooner. Yet, when we did take him in, even then, they just about sent us home.

    The doctors made an error in Jesse’s chemo protocol. When they should have given him another heavy induction round, they gave him a lighter maintenance round instead. I questioned it at the time and caught the mistake. The doctors appologized and assured us that it would not make a difference since our son was already in remission. A few months later, Jesse died. We have wondered: did that mistake allow the cancer to hold on and re-assert itself?

    Yet, in the end, we believe that the God who allowed Jesse to get cancer in the first place could also have prevented such mistakes as the ones I have mentioned. He could have prevented the cancer from ever taking root in Jesse’s body, too.

    Which brings us to the same conclusion that you reached about Isaac. It was their time.

    I pray that you receive great comfort from this dream, as you journey on, my friend.

    • Ephesians 5:16

      August 21, 2012 at 7:16 AM

      Thank you brother, especially for continuing to share your story. You are a blessing to me. God grant you peace. ~Andy

  2. mercifulwords

    August 20, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    I read these posts and comments with tears in my eyes and unsure what to say, so I dont’ say anything. But in some ways our family knows grief, too, only in different ways. I can’t say just what’s on my mind except that after agonizing many years over things that hurt two of our children, and regretting that I didn’t rescue them sooner, I had a sort of dream, only I was awake and in prayer, of Jesus standing right beside me during those events and at the right moment He pushed my arm at the elbow, indicating that it was time to rescue my children, which I did then. It also helped me to accept what happened, and to rest in the knowledge that in Christ, all things – the Bible says, a.l.l. things – work out for the good of God’s children. Our family has realized the truth of that verse and I praise God. I am praying that both your family and the Wiebe’s, will come to experience that in a very real and blessed way.

    • Ephesians 5:16

      August 21, 2012 at 7:19 AM

      Thank you for sharing and for your prayers. I pray that you continue to hear His reassuring voice as you continue to follow our Lord. ~Andy

  3. Susan B

    August 23, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Beautifully written with a clear message. Thank you.

  4. Michael Cartwright

    August 26, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    I know you uttered the word “nightmare”, and I understand that…it also seems to be a blessing. I struggle with the why and timing of my own similar story. I do believe God is reassuring you of His sovereign plan that we are not privi to the details of…but must learn to trust in. This reassurance at times is a challenge, but in the end we will know and find that God is good.

    God bless,

    • Ephesians 5:16

      August 26, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      Thank you Michael for your encouraging words. May we continue to trust God when we do not understand and know that He is always good. God bless you brother. ~Andy

  5. Martha Goudey

    September 15, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    My first response was “wow.” That is an amazing dream. I rarely have dreams that are clear like that, but when they come I accept them with gratitude. I would just say, “Thank you, Lord,” for your reassurance, without further question. I have struggled with the guilt that I could have been a better caregiver to my mother, even though she would say to me, “Don’t you ever feel guilty,” or, “No daughter could have done more,” or, “If I had to take care of me, I’d be impatient to.” She blessed me with those words. The last time we spoke she gave me words of closure over her own guilt for not protecting me as a child. She said, “No mother could have loved her children more. But I didn’t do right by my kids. I’ve lived with that regret always. But we must forgive ourselves.” The grief is a given and enough to carry.

    • Ephesians 5:16

      September 15, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      Thank you Martha, especially for sharing such a personal story. What a blessing that your mother spoke those reassuring words to you.

      I must confess that I don’t usually have dreams this clear either and hesitate to read too much into them. But I will take this one for what I think it is and, as you stated, without further question.


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