Sunday, December 21, 2008

Faith Enough to Sleep.

It doesn't happen often.

Usually I lay my head back on the pillow, at night, and am soon asleep.

Not last night, though.

Not last night.

After a long day I crawled into bed around midnight. Sleep never came. (And I had been careful to order a decafe coffee at an area bookstore when we stopped by around 9:30 last night!)

Every now and then I would check the clock. I slipped out of bed in the middle of the night so my tossing and turning wouldn't keep Sharon awake. Headed upstairs to the twin bed in my office at home.

As the clock approached six in the morning, I gave up the battle. Got up, showered, ironed a shirt, dressed, grabbed the morning paper, and made myself a bowl of cereal.

(Have you ever tried preaching three times without sleep? I'd not recommend it!)

I may be wide of the mark here, but I suspect the ability to sleep is tied to our confidence in God's ability to handle things in our absence. When we feel things depend on us then a part of us refuses to sleep.

Do I trust God enough to lay down all the heavy stuff I am trying to carry in my heart?

There is a beautiful story in the middle of the 8th chapter of Matthew's gospel. Jesus and the disciples get into a boat (8:23) to cross the Sea of Galilee. The freshwater lake was -and is- notorious for sudden storms. On the way across the lake a storm comes up. Matthew says the boat was about to be swamped by the waves. Verse 24 tells us Jesus was asleep in the bottom of the boat.

I love that detail.

The winds are raging, the craft is rocking, the water is slapping over the sides of the boat, and the Son of God is sound asleep! He didn't open his eyes until the frantic disciples woke him up as they shouted, "Save, Lord; we are perishing!" It is a picture of confidence in the ultimate power and goodness of the Father. It is a picture of peace.

As I lay my head down in the bottom of my small boat tonight I'll pray for that kind of peace. That kind of confidence. That kind of faith. Not just for me but for you...

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