Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Dream to Know Jesus

One of the more interesting ways in which a friend of mine began his life as a Christian was through an exceptional dream. 

Back when I was in college, I met Shunyuan; he was Taiwanese and in his residency to become a physician at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Shunyuan began attending our little Bible study that we held into the wee hours of a Friday night—just a couple of 20-some-year-old guys who were hanging out and talking about the Bible as it pertained to our motley lives. Shunyuan had grown up Buddhist and I wasn’t ever quite sure why he would show up every time we met. His beliefs were different than ours and he let us know that, and yet each Friday he would show up and be ready to share his own thoughts, often questioning why we followed this person of Jesus. Even though he had grown up religious, at the heart of it, he was an atheist. He really did not believe anything. That was okay for us; we needed someone to add some flavor to our group and to challenge our own thoughts and ideas, and he would often have some tough questions for us.

However, this unbelief part all changed one day. One morning he woke up out of a beautiful and terrible sleep, and his life was entirely altered. Shunyuan had a dream one fall night that dramatically changed him. The dream was fairly straight-forward:

He recounted a couple of days later to us, that in the dream he was swimming in the ocean with his daughter who was about six. His daughter meant everything to Shunyuan. A few different times, when we would openly share about our lives, he would tell us that he would not know what to do if something ever happened to her. His daughter meant everything to him. 

In this dream he had, his daughter and him are swimming in the ocean, and out of nowhere, a shark attacks his daughter, tearing off her right arm. Shunyuan pulls her ashore and as he sees the blood pouring out, as a doctor he knows that if he does not tend to her quickly, she will bleed to death. He sees how dire the situation is and he grows pale because there is no way to stop the bleeding. The love of his life is going to die and he begins to cry profusely into the sand. As he looks up, he sees a man walking toward them. A strange thing happens: immediately, he recognizes that this person is Jesus and as he fixes his eyes on him, Shunyuan realizes that Jesus knows his true heart—that Shunyuan does not want to have anything to do with him, even to the point of rejecting him. Again, because of this, he grows hopeless because he believes that Jesus will not heal his daughter, which now he believes and knows that he can do. He believes that Jesus will just continue to walk down the beach and do nothing. However, Jesus does the opposite of everything that Shunyuan thinks and walks up to his daughter, touches her arm and everything is restored. Without looking back at Shunyuan, Jesus wanders off down the beach without a word.

At that moment, Shunyuan woke up and began to trust that Jesus truly was the Christ. Shunyuan began to “believe” that Jesus was the Savior, his Savior and that he could do remarkable things.

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