Lucy and the bad dreams
Lucy loved Bible stories. Her Sunday School teacher told different ones each week and explained that God - who took care of the people in the Bible so long ago - still takes care of all His children today. Lucy knew that meant He was taking care of her, too.
Lucy had learned Psalm 91, which promises that God "shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee, in all thy ways." She loved the way the Bible used special language like "thee" and "thy." These are just other words for "you" and "your," still the special words made her feel that God was really close to her and cared about her. She'd learned that angels are loving messages from God that keep His children safe and happy. Lucy was sure this was true.
One Sunday Lucy's teacher told the class the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors. Joseph's father had made the coat as a special gift for him because he was "the child of his old age." This made his older brothers very jealous. Some of them even wanted to kill Joseph.
But one of his brothers, Reuben, talked the others into just putting him into a pit, thinking that he would come back and rescue him later. Reuben went off for a while, and when he came back, he found that the other brothers had sold Joseph to some merchants who were on a caravan going to Egypt, far away from where Reuben and Joseph lived. You can read the story yourself in chapter 37 of the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.
Lucy enjoyed hearing the story and learning that God kept Joseph safe even though he had been sold into Egypt as a slave. But that night Lucy had a nightmare. She dreamed that she was in the pit and that she had ugly brothers who were looking down at her. She was frightened, just as she imagined Joseph must have been. But then, even while she was still dreaming, she remembered that God was taking care of her, just as He had taken care of Joseph. She could wake up from this awful dream and not be afraid.
So Lucy opened her eyes; and she saw that she was in her very own room. She remembered that the story had ended happily and knew that since God's angels were right there with her, giving her only good thoughts, she could go back to sleep peacefully and not be afraid of any more bad dreams. And that's exactly what she did.
A few nights later, Lucy had another bad dream. This time it was about snakes. She really didn't like snakes! They made her shiver, even when she just thought about them.
While she was dreaming, even before she woke up, she remembered that she had been able to wake up from the bad dream about Joseph and knew that she could wake up from this dream, too. This was an angel from God speaking to her, telling her that she could wake up and not be afraid. She was happy to wake up and see her own room again.
This time she was still a little afraid to close her eyes, because she didn't want to see those snakes anymore. She tried closing her eyes, and the snakes were still there.
But, again, she remembered how God's angels, His totally good thoughts, were right there with her to keep her safe and happy. She remembered how she had been able to close her eyes after the dream about Joseph and go back to sleep peacefully. There was no reason she should stay awake when God's angels were right there with her to give her good ideas to dream about. Even while she was sleeping, she could choose to listen to the angels and not listen to bad or scary thoughts.
Lucy thought about all this for a few minutes and then closed her eyes. The snakes were gone. She fell back to sleep, continuing to think about the angels that were with her. And you know what? Lucy is grown up now, and she hasn't had any more bad dreams.
Now, the very same God that was with Joseph and Lucy giving them angel thoughts to keep them safe and happy is right here with you, giving you exactly the angel thoughts you need every minute of the day or night. You can depend on it.
Loving me, -
Guard me when I sleep;
Guide my little feet
Up to Thee.
Mary Baker Eddy
(Founder of Christian Science)