Experiencing the Sacred in Dreams

Jacob’s Ladder: A Connection Between Heaven and Earth

One of the special gifts that come with dreams is an experience of the sacred.  We may have a dream of a holy person, a deity, a ray of golden light, or a physician that is healing us.  These sacred dreams often have a numinous quality about them; that is, through the images and feelings in the dream we somehow know this dream is coming from a divine source.  Once a person has a dream like this, they need no convincing that there is a greater power beyond them.  These dreams are humbling, yet they can evoke profound gratitude and sense of joy in the dreamer.

Sacred dreams can come at any time but they often tend to come when the dreamer needs them, such as at the start of a major life change, or in the midst of a difficult transition.  In these cases, there seems to be the purposes of inspiring and encouraging the dreamer make it through a difficult challenge, or to take on the challenge.

The Story of Jacob’s Ladder

When thinking of sacred dreams, the Bible story of Jacob’s ladder (Genesis 28: 1-19) comes to mind.  Jacob is in serious conflict with his brother whom he just cheated out of his birthright.  He has run off to the desert, no doubt wondering what will happen to him.  Instead of disaster, in a dream he sees a ladder on which angels descend from and ascend to heaven. The Lord appears to him and tells him that he will have many descendants and be given the land on which he rests.

The ladder is the connection between heaven and earth, just as the dream connects the dreamer to divine inspiration.  Our dreams can be a ladder connecting us to our spiritual guides and higher truth.  Have you seen a ladder in your dreams?  Where was it leading to?  It is definitely leading you to somewhere beyond where you are now.  Are you willing to go there?

Jacob was so in awe of his ladder dream he named the place where he had the dream Bethel, the House of God.  If we see our dreams as the place where divinity can come to visit us, we would take them much more seriously.

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Sacred Moments in Dreams

Dreams can bring sacred moments that help us through difficult times.

What are some of your sacred moments that have sustained you?

We all need sustaining visions that will get us through the worst times and give us clues to the good things that are to come.  Ironically, it is often when we begin to go through difficult times, the veil is lifted from our eyes and we are given the grace, a “sacred moment” that gives us the strength to undergo any ordeal we must face.  I remember a woman telling me that she was very nervous before a surgery to remove a cancer.  As she prayed in the hospital bed, waiting to be taken to the operating room, she had a vision of light that came into the room and surrounded her.  It gave her great comfort, so she was able to undergo the surgery with great peace.

One way we can experience profound sacred moments is in dreams.  Almost everyone I’ve met has had some dream that is profoundly spiritual and sacred to the person who has had the dream.  They may dream of flying effortlessly or they may dream of Jesus coming to visit them.  They may dream they are healed of some shame or regret they once had.

My experience has been that the very special dreams we have are meant to prepare us either for a special mission, an ordeal like a surgery or a difficult transformation.  For example, a dying person may dream of someone special, a loved one who has already died, coming for them and possibly leading them somewhere.  The dream has a sacred quality about it and tends to literally help the dying person die.  The dream then is a sacred moment which is preparing the person for transitioning from the worldly plane to the spiritual plane.

All of us have had “sacred moments” in our lives, either in dreams or in lived experiences.  Some people have had visions and some have experienced a deep connection with God, nature or another person.  What are some of your sacred moments?  How have these moments helped you feel that life is worthwhile, even in the midst of the most difficult times?  If you are in a low spot in your life you might consider asking for a dream that will present you with a “sacred moment” to get you through the hard times.