Do you remember your dreams? A recent article suggests that with the lock-down we may be getting more sleep – in particular REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which is the sleep where most dreaming occurs. So more dreaming.
Do you learn anything from your dreams? Well, lots of Bible characters think they did, and some (like Joseph and Daniel in the Old Testament) were able to interpret dreams to their advantage. Joseph, the father of Jesus, sees an angel in a dream who warns him to flee to Egypt before Herod can take the life of his son (Matthew 2:13). That was quite a
handy dream to have had! (See picture below.)
The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that dreams could be predictions of future events or visitations by the dead.
It is easy to see how a dream could be a predictor of a future event. If you are worried about something it may come out as a dream in which you need to take avoiding action (as with Joseph’s dream about Herod).
There are various theories about how to interpret particular dreams.
Dreaming about losing some or all of your teeth may be about anxiety over saying the wrong thing at the wrong moment. Dreams about flying may represent a desire for freedom. Dreams about finding new rooms in your home may express a desire for opportunity or novelty.
Perhaps you can even solve problems while you are dreaming (as when we say to someone: “Sleep on it”).
So we may be able to get something out of reflecting on and analyzing our dreams. Perhaps you can learn a bit about yourself – what you value in life, what you would defend, what you are afraid of. We can think of God working through our dreams, in the same way as God works through a therapist or counsellor. But not every dream will be significant – just as not every therapist or counsellor is effective.