The other night I had a dream. In this dream I was at a place where you could stand on a moving coveyer belt (think of airports) and look out the window at this amazing wildlife exhibit. I saw in this exhibit wildebeests being released, and lions leaping after them. Instead of the lions getting the wildebeests, as is the normal food chain, they seemed as if they were holding back. They went after them but with a half-heartedness that kept them from catching them. Instead, these GIANT buffalo (the size of elephants) were catching and eating the wildebeest. I remember thinking how odd this was since buffalo aren't even meat eaters. Something wasn't right. When telling a friend about it, she said "it's like a disruption in the natural order". The lions needed to be boosted back to their natural order to continue to carry out their roles. When I asked God what word people needed to hear from Him now, His answer was "courage". It was already interesting because I had just seen such a need for courage in the lions in my dream the night before. When I looked up courage it has these meanings: 1."The ability to do something that frightens one" 2."strength in the face of pain or grief" Or 3."act on one's beliefs despite danger or disapproval" There is a tender encouragement now to keep moving in the face of pain. To keep moving in the face of grief. To keep acting in accordance with belief despite the challenges coming against it. In that dream what God was showing me was that without courage, we lose what was meant to be ours. We surrender it to the buffalo. Now when I looked up buffalo it had a surprising meaning as a verb. Buffalo means "overawe, intimidate, or baffle". The things that have happened to you that have baffled you- don't let them steal your courage! Don't let the circumstances that seem intimidating take what's naturally yours. Don't let setbacks overawe you. When I looked up overawe, it means "to be impressed so much that you become SILENT or INHIBITED". Wow. So that tells us that we must meet whatever we're facing not with silence and inhibition but with loud, courageous, declaration and encouragement or promotion of what God has said. The other day in worship I saw a dandelion that had gone to it's puffy seed-dispersing form. Dandelion's name comes from "lion tooth", and God began showing me how just as the lion tooth comes from the mouth of the lion, this dandelion represented His word. We know dandelions are stubborn and resilient plants. You can try to get rid of dandelions, but they're actually very hard to get rid of. The words that you've been holding on to and contending for- perhaps even getting a little weary of doing so- are going to continue to be stubborn (in the best way). Watch God keep His word and fight for His truth in a way that doesn't give up, even when you feel like giving up. Also, just as a single dandelion flower becomes a head full of seeds that all grow new plants, watch how God will use that word He has given you to multiply into a variety of promises for the season to come. The lyrics ring in my head as I write this: "take COURAGE my heart, stay steadfast my soul, He's in the waiting, He's in the waiting. Hold on to your hope as your triumph unfolds, He's never failing, He's never failing."