In the movie Inception, technology allows people to tap into others’ minds by dream invasion. Dom Cobb, the flawed hero in the flick, lost his wife Mal when she committed suicide due to the delusional effects of memory inception within a dream state. Mal, however, keeps vividly appearing to Dom when he’s in a dream state. Finally seeing the need to let this pseudo Mal go, Dom says to her, “I can’t imagine you with all your complexity, all your perfection, all your imperfection. . . . You’re just a shade of my real wife. . . . I’m sorry, you are just not good enough.”

At times, the Jesus we have in our minds is just a shade of His true reality. Instead of experiencing the power of His presence within us (1 Peter 1:5; Colossians 1:27), we grasp for Him merely when we’re in a state of fear or need. Instead of living with “great expectation” (1 Peter 1:3) of being with Him forever, we experience a dull and persistent dread as we encounter the imperfections of life.

Peter provides some words to snap us out of our dreamlike state and to help us embrace the reality of life in Jesus: “[We] love Him even though [we] have never seen Him. Though [we] do not see Him now, [we] trust Him” (1 Peter 1:8). Through our “faith” (1 Peter 1:5), we experience a moment-by-moment “joy” (1 Peter 1:8) that comes from knowing Jesus and walking with Him. When we face trials (1 Peter 1:6), we’re not alone. Jesus allows us to be tested by the fire of difficulties so that our faith in Him will be purified and perfected (1 Peter 1:7). And one day, our “reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of [our] souls” (1 Peter 1:9).

Don’t simply exist in a shade of Jesus. By faith, experience His true reality today.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 24:28-67