Wild Elephants and All

Have you ever noticed how dreams make perfect sense while you are having them? Generally it isn’t until you wake up and replay it in your mind that you question what you ate the night before. I’ve had some doozies in my time, as I am sure you probably have, too.

I had a recurring dream when I was a child that if I tied a special scarf in my hair I could fly. I so wanted that dream to come true.

Another dream seemed so real to me as a child that I actually got up and started looking for some missing homework I had dreamed about, only to realize a few moments into my search that summer had started, and I was no longer in school.

Last night, I dreamed that I was traveling in a minivan with my family (strange, right?) on a narrow, winding, desert mountain road. Suddenly we started passing by several multi-car pileups, yet there were no people in the cars. Then we rounded a steep bend to find lots of people running away from a wild, out-of-control elephant.

(Must have been the chili I fixed for supper.)

People had pulled their cars over, bailed out, and most were running away. Not us. No, with my husband at the wheel, he hit the gas and sped right past the unpredictable pachyderm. Not completely out of character for him. I turned around in my seat and covered my eyes. Not completely out of character for me.

While I was in the midst of having this strange dream, I didn’t comprehend the absurdity of it. It wasn’t until I woke up that I could appreciate the weirdness of a wild elephant dream.


As a family, we’ve started looking in the Old Testament at the life of Joseph.
You may recall that Joseph had a couple of dreams early on that got him into trouble with his older brothers. Both dreams recounted in Genesis depicted Joseph’s family bowing to him. Not something his siblings thought would ever happen in reality, but to Joseph, the dreams made perfect sense both while he was having them and then while he was retelling them.

That’s when the trouble started for Joseph. He had the wisdom to interpret his dreams, just not the wisdom to know when to keep his mouth shut about them.

If you know the story, (If not, check out Genesis 37) God used even Joseph’s big mouth to work His will and plan out in Joseph’s life. Joseph went on to interpret other dreams for other people, even eventually for the Pharaoh. This last interpretation bought Joseph a ticket out of jail, and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. It was probably the quickest rise to power ever. It was then that God’s plan for Joseph was played out in full, and he could see clearly how God had orchestrated the whole thing for his good. (And eventually his brothers did bow to him!)

I have no idea what possible meaning even Joseph could pull from my elephant dream. I think Joseph might be tempted to send me to therapy.

I am sure that there were times in Joseph’s life when while his dreams might have made sense to him, his life surely didn’t. I can relate to that last part. So much that’s happened to me over the last year or two has left me scratching my head. Only now am I beginning to be able to make sense of things that only months ago made no sense at all.

God didn’t send me a dream explaining anything. Nope. All I got for a dream was a wild elephant. Instead, I’ve had to find peace in the knowledge that while I couldn’t see it happening, God was working all things together for my good.

Maybe your life plays out like a crazy dream sometimes, too. You can’t see how God could possibly make anything good or sensible come from it. All I can offer, is that you continue to trust Him, continue to follow Him, and continue to give thanks in all things… They are working together for your good, by His hand. Wild elephants and all.

So what do you think?

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