Forewarned! A Tale of Two Trains
Written by: Lois Turley
Does God allow us to see the future? Sometimes! I remember this story so well. I was about 10 years old when mom had an odd dream one night. Little did we know that just a few days later, that dream would save all of our lives! This story below is based on a true story that happened to mom and me, my brother and several of our friends in 1984.
A train lumbered from right to left across the road ahead. I stopped impatiently and glanced into the rear-view mirror to be sure my friend Peggy was still behind me. Our daughters chatted in the back seat of Peggy's car, while their younger brothers craned their necks from the back seat of my car to get a closer look at the rackety parade of iron.
The train passed, and the two cars ahead of mine moved across the track. I pushed on the accelerator, expecting to resume normal speed, but my foot quickly shifted to the brake pedal again. I had never hesitated to cross this section of track before, but suddenly something about this familiar setting reminded me of danger.
I braked a few feet short of the track, feeling a bit humiliated as I glimpsed the procession of cars forced to stop behind me. I imagined Peggy chiding from her car -- What's the hold-up, Lois?
Suddenly my attention was jarred back to center stage as a second train thundered through the crossing in the wake of the first. I was stunned to realize that I had witnessed a rerun of an episode I had dreamed a few nights before -- only this time the drama was real. And this time I had averted the danger.
The second train passed quickly, and soon we were on our way again. As I steered my car toward the local McDonald's, I mentally recited the dream that had warned me to stop.
The dream began as the final cars of a train crossed from right to left ahead of me. I approached the track, and assuming the danger was over now that the train had passed, I started across. Then, in nightmare fashion, my engine died on top of the track...just as I spied another train hurtling toward me from the right.
As the dream progressed, two courses of action surfaced in my mind. Number one, I could put the car into park and try to get my son Nathan out before the train rammed our car. I quickly decided I wouldn't have time to get Nathan out, so I opted for alternative number two: I prayed that the car would continue rolling, and roll quickly enough to exit the track before the train reached us. It did -- and just in time.
As I pulled into the restaurant's parking lot, I breathed a real-life prayer -- a prayer of thanks for the prophetic nightmare that had flashed a warning from my subconscious a few moments ago.
"Lois, I'm sure glad you stopped at that railroad track back there!" Peggy exclaimed as we shepherded our kids into the restaurant. "I'd have never thought to look for a second train. If you hadn't stopped, that train would have plowed right into my car!"
We placed our orders, and I turned to Peggy. "That's the first time I've ever seen two trains travel so close together like that, Peggy. Maybe they do it in other places, but have you ever seen anything like that around here before?"
"No, I've never even heard of it." Then Peggy's face turned into a question mark. "Lois, that second train didn't blow its whistle until it was almost upon us. If you 've never seen that before either, how did you know to stop after the first train passed?"
"Actually I have seen that happen once before. I saw it in a dream," I confided as we carried our trays to a table. I recounted my dream as we lunched.
A couple of days before this luncheon with Peggy, I had shared my dream about the trains with my daughter, Denise. Then I had shared a second dream with her. "After the train dream, Denise, I dreamed that you and I were sitting near each other. I dreamed that I told you all about my train dream, then you went outside to play with some children I was taking care of."
I had plundered my memory trying to reconstruct this second dream. "Those children were older than Nathan, and for some reason I kept him inside with me. Nathan and I were alone in this little house until one of the children from outside -- a boy a couple of years older than Nathan -- came inside and began to talk with me. I can't remember what he said or what his face looked like. It's strange -- the only things I remember are his hairstyle and the posture of his body as he walked toward me."
I hadn't thought any more about the dreams after my conversation with Denise -- not until the first dream was replayed in our lives. These two apparently unrelated dreams were mysteriously knit together as I retold the first dream in the second. Now I understand why.
Just as I was responsible for protecting the older children (one of whom was my daughter) outside the house in my dream, so my train dream enabled me to protect the older children (one of whom was my daughter ) outside my car, in the car behind me, in real life. Just as Nathan and I were joined in the little house by a boy about two years older than him, so Peggy's son (two years older than Nathan) had joined us in the car that day.
In case you haven't guessed, when I looked at Peggy's son that day at McDonald's, his hairstyle and gait were remarkably like that of the faceless boy in my dream.
Two trains and two dreams woven into a bizarre embroidery.... Some say God won't speak through a dream today, but Peggy's family and mine know different. We know we were forewarned.
What Does The Bible Say About Interpreation of Dreams?
According to the Christian Scriptures, the interpretation of dreams was an ability provided to certain individuals under special circumstances. An example of this is Joseph, father of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. However, Joseph's life included much more than the few times God enabled him to interpret dreams.
In the New Testament another Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, was warned in a dream to flee to Egypt to avoid those who would slay the Christ-child.
While the Christian Scriptures do mention times when God used dreams, it also warns us against divination, enchantments, and consulting spirits:
- Let there not be seen among you anyone...using secret arts, or a maker of strange sounds, or a reader of signs, or any wonder-worker,
Or anyone using secret force on people, or putting questions to a spirit, or having secret knowledge, or going to the dead for directions.
For all who do such things are disgusting to the Lord.... (Deuteronomy 18:10-12.)
According to these Scriptures, we are to worship only Jehovah God. God certainly can use a dream to reach us or warn us. But our emphasis should always be God. We are instructed not to seek divination through dreams or any other method.
Other Scriptures seem to indicate that we must also regard carefully any dream we feel has provided a special "word from God." Satan is a great deceiver. According to the Christian Scriptures, he can appear as an angel of light:
- For such men are false Apostles, workers of deceit, making themselves seem like Apostles of Christ.
And it is no wonder; for even Satan himself is able to take the form of an angel of light.
So it is no great thing if his servants make themselves seem to be servants of righteousness; whose end will be the reward of their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15.)
God has much more for us than dreams. He has spoken to us in many more real and wonderful ways. He has spoken to us directly through his written Word, the Christian Scriptures. The greatest way he has spoken to us is by giving his very own Son for us. This is how he proved his love for us.
To learn more about this great God of the Christian Scriptures, and how he speaks to us, see Knowing God.
Want to know more about how to grow in your faith and walk with God? Find out what a quiet time is and why you need one.
This article is Copyright ©1981-2010 by Lois Turley from the original website "Hope Undivided" (no longer in existence). Used by permission. All rights reserved.