Distinguishing “the Undead”…

One of my favorite musicians, Andrew Peterson, has just released a new album. An early frontrunner for my favorite song is “The Rain Keeps Falling.” It has a verse that talks about planting seeds and waiting for the death to bring forth new life.

I think this speaks to me because I have been thinking lately about what happens to dreams when they are buried. Sometimes they end up in a crypt, dead forever, mourned and moved beyond. Some become seeds, buried and left to grow, and one day, break the surface again with new life.

Lately I have been wondering though, are all dreams that come back to “life” again meant to live? As I pondered this question recently, I realized that my brain is odd because I very quickly came up with three options for the reanimation of buried dreams. I find this very odd because I’m not interested in the current fascination with zombies or anything of the kind. In fact, I’m not even sure the following descriptions would fit with what the dictionary or traditional definitions are. Nevertheless, these are the options that came to mind:

1. Resurrection – Something is fully alive again. The only true resurrections to take place are brought about by the power of God. He is the One who breathed life into our very being, and He is the only One who can still bring life into the deepest parts of us. Physical death was not the only death over which Jesus was victorious.

2. Zombie – Based on the tiny bit I understand from the stories that have been so popular lately, zombies are the victims of a virus or bacteria that spreads from one person to another. In other words, it is a “natural” phenomenon that makes these “undead.”  It is possible that our own natural desires can bring dreams to the surface again.

3. Necromancy – In an episode of BBC’s Merlin, the villain reanimated someone who had died in a previous episode. The process was called necromancy, and the purpose of bringing this character back to “life” was to wreak havoc in the lives of the show’s heroes. The man brought “back from the dead” did not have his true life back. He didn’t have his memories, and he was totally under the control of the one who brought him back. It occurred to me as I suddenly remembered this episode that sometimes our buried dreams might break the surface again, appearing to be raised to life. In reality, however, they are simply reanimated by our Enemy as a distraction or disruption to what God is doing in us.

Those are the options that came to mind for how my dreams, once buried and mourned were suddenly back. Now the trick is to distinguish which is the one that has brought the dreams to the surface once again… Are they truly alive? Or are they “zombies” that will just eat away at me until I am able to banish them to the crypt once again? Have they grown from a seed that God planted in my heart? Or are they merely empty shells reanimated by my own mind or even the Enemy of my heart? In some cases, they aren’t even solid hopes but simply ghosts that haunt my mind and heart.

Unfortunately, I don’t yet know which is the case in my current situation. I don’t have a definite answer for how to distinguish between the “undead” options. It isn’t always obvious when you’re in the middle of warring emotions – hope for resurrected dreams versus fear of having to bury and mourn for them yet again…

What I do know is that until I figure it out, my heart is safe as long as it is surrendered to the One who loves me and can breathe life into those places in me that I am not even aware of yet. He will bring the growth and the increase of the things that He has planted, and He will sustain me through the process of pruning and even through the burial of those things that are not meant to live. He knows what is best for me, and I am thankful that I don’t have to settle for less than His very best.