Visions at the Ocean’s bottom

“When I was 18, I had no direction in my life. I was depressed, suicide and addicted to drugs. I didn’t think my life could get any worse, but then I lost my mother and father in a freak car accident. That was the final straw for me, I had no one else in my life, no reason to live. I threw my body off a bridge in an attempt to kill myself, but as soon as I began to fall, I immediately regretted it. Suddenly, I saw all of the things I wanted to achieve in life flash before my eyes. Marrying a beautiful girl, starting a family with her and becoming a doctor. As these things vividly flashed before me, I could hear a voice that I could only describe as ethereal. It was in that moment that the Lord had decided to save me! I miraculously survived the fall, which baffled every medical professional that checked on me. I knew that GOD had spared me because he had great plans for me, and that gave me the will to carry on. That was 10 years ago. I am now a qualified medical professional, and tomorrow I will be proposing to my girlfriend of 4 years 🙂 Wish me luck my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! God bless you all <3”  – Testimony from Elliot Alderson
In the last days, God says … your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. (Act 2:17)

Imagine this. It was when Elliot was already falling into the deep that God gave him a vision of what his future was to be.  Elliot then spent the next decade bringing this reality to pass… and did. Sometimes God uses your worst moment to pivot your life in the most amazing way. But the pivot starts from God’s future victory and not from your own human effort or machinations. This is the redemptive process of God. It is not like the ways of the world where we have to scratch and claw for every small advantage because we do not know if we are the cat or the mouse. The redemptive process of God, when through Christ, starts with a future reality that God opens to your soul, and we proceed on from the vantage point of victory as the reality that God has already prepared for you slowly actualizes.

“Do not fear them … I have already given you the victory.” The Lord said to Joshua as he prepared for battle. (Joshua 10:8) “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.” The angel of the Lord said to Gideon when he actually was a coward. The angel saw what Gideon was going to be and addressed him that way, instead of who he was now. (Judges 6:12). “You have been Abraham” (Gen 17:5) God not just changes Abram’s name to Abraham, a promotion from “high father” to “father to multitudes”. God addresses him as though he already was.

“Hi!” God seems to say to us. “I already met you tomorrow, we did stuff together. Great stuff that the world didn’t expect you could do.”

What Elliot experienced in a couple of seconds, where God spoke and granted Him visions of what might be during the brief fall to a potential death, I experienced stretched out over 20 years, as my eczema was slowly killing me; only to recover when I was 40 years old, baffling every medical professional that checked on me. Within this “slow-motion car-crash”, when I called out to Jesus at my darkest moment in 2010 – my whole body covered with sores, body packed full of immuno-suppressants that was not working well enough, I saw a vision that I was comfortable, there was a cool, dry breeze, I wasn’t in Singapore, this was a place I never have seen before, no pain on my flesh, and that I was sitting on a 2nd-floor apartment overlooking a park, feeling strangely secure. In the 2 years prior to this point, I cycled through insecurity, bitterness, and resignation. But for a split second, when the vision hit, I felt a peace that surpassed all understanding. I had never felt so secure before. I knew this was from God because everything around me was pure darkness. How could anyone feel peace at a time like this? The feeling dissipated quickly, sandwiched between sharp immediate physical pains and the torment of past failures and disappointments. But it motivated something deep inside to continue fighting despite all signs pointing to a meaningless death. I studied the Bible, I pursued truth, I studied the stock market, I gave to the less fortunate even when I was in bad shape. I learned to accept that the world had no place for me for now. I had to accept that my fate was in God’s hands, and I will live in a way that showed I believed God has the final word in my life; and not my disease, not my past failures, and not by the inaccurate narratives people created to put me in their box.

That vision triggered my new way of trudging through my impossible sickness and numerous failures. I felt I wasn’t wading into uncertainty, I was wading closer to a New Country, a place of victory with every stumble forward.

People thought I was nuts to do meaningless things like to start from scratch to learn the stock market or read books on philosophy and psychology when I might have less than 3 years left to live. But something in me told me that even if I had 3 years left, I will live in a way to give God the best chance to use me now, and in the future, in case I had a miraculous recovery. It is not your emotional states, how loud your prayers are, or how many church people esteem you as a spiritual guru that reveals real faith. When we do such things in the darkness, that’s when God sees you in your faith. Real faith is seen in the dark, not in the light; and it is by your actions, but just your words. (Mark 5:34, James 2:22)

In 2016, my immune system became better while in Singapore, an impossibility for over 30 years, baffling doctors. Soon after, I was hired as a senior business analyst directly from Singapore to Nashville without proper professional experience, another impossibility, baffling all my acquaintances in Singapore… this is the first time any of them had seen anything like this. It was the perfect place for me. My skill sets, borne in desperate times, a combination of versatility and deep problem solving, with technical skills like coding, mathematical and financial modeling was developed while I was sick and trapped at home for 2 years. It exceeded their expectations.

On the first day I arrived in Nashville, I picked an apartment right next to my office.

After the Ikea furniture came in, I sat on the couch.

Initially, I recoiled out of the seat. After living 30 years of bleeding every day, I automatically avoid all cloth to avoid staining. But, it took me a while to realize that my eczema had improved so much that I didn’t even recognize myself anymore, and that this new health is too strange to me.

I sat in the seat. Cool breeze over my skin. I had a proper career. On top of that, I managed my own funds to outperform the stock market for the last 6 years. I actually had some real savings now. In fact, I did a calculation, and my savings was larger then what I would have had if I were entirely healthy and could have worked as an engineer those 5 years when I was out of the job market. God really did restore more than what I lost. (Deut 30:3). I realized that I had an experience that can’t be bought. It made me feel … strangely warmed. A peace that surpassed … ?!

I had an excited chill that crawled through my skin.

I had seen this moment 6 years ago in my darkest moment.

No. Actually, I had experienced this moment 6 years ago. For a brief moment, too quick to even breathe, I was transported into the future and experienced that exact moment. That’s why of all the strange dreams I’ve had over the years, I’ve always remembered this one. It wasn’t a dream.

This is totally different from motivational speakers telling you to visualize a target and have the confidence to hit it. This is of low value to those going through problems bordering on impossibility. It’s actually an insult to them, as it was for me. The difference is imagination vs reality. Suggestion vs actuality. Uncertainty vs Certainty. The Abyss-dweller with seemingly unsolvable problems cannot do with anything less.

I realized at this point that once I gave Jesus all the broken pieces of my heart in 2010, my courage to continue to push forward through impossibility was powered by a certainty God revealed deep in my soul. This is the difference between motivational messages and the redemptive process through Jesus. Jesus has already secured the victory and we act to actualize that which is already in hand.

Today, because of the New Covenant, all God’s promises are all activated through in and doing all things through Christ and not by your self-righteousness. That’s why when we touch Christ, we also touch a new destiny. (2 Cor 1:20) We touch this new process. A new way to journey forward. A different vantage point, from a future place of victory of what God had already done. Knowing this, does this make your mountains smaller? Does this change the way you see your adversities? That which the enemy had intended for evil, God can use it for good? (Gen 50:20, Rom 8:28)

This means that you don’t have to ask God for visions. When you seek to be in Christ, whatever you need for the abundant life in God’s purpose, God will give it to you. This includes visions of a future you and God have already built together when everyone else, including yourself, think you are far too gone to be relevant.

 

Bible Verses to remember:
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, (Heb 12:2)
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Cor 9:8)
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)
Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’ (Isaiah 46:10)