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.