A number of years ago I had a wonderful dream. In most of my dreams I am frantically trying to find a class at school and I can’t remember where it is, my books are in my locker, and I can’t remember my combination. Or I am moving in terribly slow motion, running from something or toward something and making no progress whatsoever. Do you have those sorts of dreams? I call them school nightmares. But this was a lovely dream. The kind sent to us by God, not drawn from our own subconscious fears and aspirations.
I dreamed I was living in a medieval village of the kind you might find in Europe a few centuries ago. There were cobblestone streets and little Tudor houses. It was a “once upon a time” setting. There was a beautiful castle atop a hill, where the king, with his lords and his ladies, ruled over us peasants in the village. What position did I occupy in the hurry and bustle of our hamlet? How did God show myself to me? I was a child, a small boy. I was the village beggar. I was darkened by dirt, with uncombed and ratted hair. Dressed in rags, I begged in the streets. I was the most inconsequential person in the town. One day, the gates of the castle drew open and the king, with his lords and ladies, who were dressed in elegant clothes and riding beautiful horses, swept down the ramparts, across the drawbridge, and descended the hill into the village. The king, a figure of overwhelming dignity, rode at the front on the whitest horse I have ever seen.
I wanted to see the king up close, but so did everyone else, and I was just the village beggar. In the jostling of the crowd, I pushed myself towards the front and found a place by the side of the road and waited. There were people all around me and I felt very small and unimportant in my rags with my smudged, dirty face and my uncombed hair. Remember, I was the least important individual in the tiny town.
When the king rode by, I knew in my dream consciousness that He was my Savior. He wore a beautiful crown on his head covered with bright gems of every color and hue. As He passed me, He reined his horse to a stop right where I was standing. He looked down at me in compassion and love. I held my hand out because I was the beggar, hoping for something. He took off His crown and He turned it in His hand. His eyes passed over all those bright, beautiful jewels—the reds, the blues, the greens, the yellows—and He chose one for me. It was a bright green gem which He pulled out of its setting in His crown. Then He reached down from His horse and He laid it in my hands. He said, “Lift it up high and let the light catch it. Let it shine out for all the people to see its beauty.”
Having done this, He rode on with His accompanying retinue. I looked at my green gem. I turned it over in my hand and saw how truly beautiful His gift was. I held it up like my king had told me. The light caught the gem and shot beautiful rays into every dark corner of the village. The people came running to see its splendors, and in its light I looked like a king. But I knew I was the least important. I was the begging boy of the village.
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When life's challenges seem overwhelming, where can you turn for help? Using powerful stories from the scriptures, S. Michael Wilcox teaches that hope can be found in looking beyond obstacles and moving forward with faith, in looking back at past experiences that may have prepared us for future challenges, and in looking for times when the Savior walks with us.