If it doesn't count for Christ, it doesn't count.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Lullaby Maybe?

Sleep never was a problem . . . never was.

Is it the undone, unattempted, unaccomplished, that rages somewhere in the subconscious, or is it just the opposite? . . . the done, the tried, the failed. Is it a notion of waiting for life to begin, but wondering if you're too close to the end? Is it wondering how? How? , , , and now? Time constantly grows shorter and it moves much faster beginning with the day you wake up and realize that you no longer have forever to get everything done. And I suppose it's merciful, in a way, that it's later in life the realization hits us that we really can't "make right" any wrong in our past. There is less time left to have to live with it.

Once the youthful notion of forever in this world is gone, taking with it those dreams of all the "young you" would do, a remnant of hope wanders through the now empty space. Why does the wandering seem to happen only in the quiet of darkness? Maybe it's constant, but can only be heard after we shut down and settle in, ceasing the noise of our external lives that prevents us from living the truth and consequences of our internal lives.

Struggling for sleep is rather oxymoronish, don't you think? Following years of keeping late hours by my own design, I am now often forced into it. There might actually be a good dream that I'm missing, my escape into a world where scattered and unrelated scenarios make a strange kind of sense. But whatever is happening, as weird as it may be, is OK in the moment . . . except for all those times I'm hitting the brake trying desperately to stop as I pass by the place I need to be for some unknown reason. (I don't like those dreams, and I have a lot of them.)  When sleep finally comes in the wee dark hours of the early morning it does not easily release me to the light of day. . . . A day often spent struggling to stay awake. These are times that I actually could sleep were it not for the demands of the day. And all that does is to add to the burden of the undones, the unattempted, and the unaccomplished that allows no sleep when the day once again is done. More empty space, more wandering, more wondering . . .

So, is it all this? Maybe it's just that glass of chocolate milk I had right before bedtime. I don't know. Maybe.

Rest. We all need rest. There are pills and supplements, all supposedly offering sleep, but is sleep rest?

Like the illusion of the value of our own activity is any kind of rest this world has to offer.

True rest can be found in only one place, in only one person . . .

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 

Resting in Jesus doesn't mean that all of your issues and situations, your problems and trials, your struggles and disappointments will vanish. They might, depending, but it's not likely. Some things that are issues for you will no longer be issues and some of the things you are struggling with will no longer be a struggle merely by virtue of Jesus being a part of your life. Resting in Jesus, our Lord, is simply turning it all over to Him, putting Him in charge - after all, He is THE Lord. We lay whatever burdens us at His feet and ask Him to take care of it in His way. If we are satisfied that he will, then He gives us rest. If we are laboring (you can put any verb that applies to your situation in place of "laboring") over and in any issue in life, we are not resting in Jesus. And this means that we are not trusting Him. This is where we must understand that believing is something other than just a way of thinking . . . something more.

Past, present, or future, He is Lord over all.

He can make our past, whatever lies behind, as irrelevant to us in the present as it is to Him.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" 2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1

(Like my pastor says, it's always a good idea to go to the Word and see what the therefore is there for.)

Wherever we are, whatever is going on in our lives in the present, at this moment, God is with us and He is involved. He is working, He is calling, and He is leading.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:31-34

It can be said that God is in our future. What He says will happen will happen, He keeps His promises.

"For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome." Jeremiah 29:11

"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14

"My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:15-16

Whether it is the waking walking version, or the bedtime version, when we are tossing and turning, we're tired and rest nor sleep will come, there is a place to go and find rest. Better than the Best Western is the Best Restern. Yeah . . . I just made that up. Best Restern. Sleep. Yeah, that should help.


PS: Yep, you get a video with this one, too!