You love your bed, don't you? I love mine. It has the best sheets in the world. Really, it wouldn't matter what sheets on on there. When the alarm goes off in the morning, it still feels like nothing could drag me away from them.
So then, why do I go to bed so late at night? If my bed were so great, don't you think I would be jumping into it the minute the kids are sent to bed? I don't. I usually wait at least 2 hours after they are in bed before I even think about it. The draw of everything else in the world pulls me back. But that's a different line of thought to which I will return in a minute.
There are nights when I suddenly find myself so tired, I can't even haul myself off the couch to go to that glorious place called bed. I don't think I'm the only one.
So why? Why, why, why? Why don't I go running up to my bed as soon as possible? I'm tired, aren't I? Even if not at the moment, I know for a fact I will be tired and need sleep eventually. I always wind up in that bed, and I am never unhappy about it. Never.
Hold that thought.
Have you ever put your hand out, hoping to have a bird come and fly to it? You may have even called to it, hoping it would understand that you will not hurt it. Why won't it come? Sometimes, you may even have food in your hand, and it still won't come. What is wrong with that dumb bird?
Keep this in the back of your mind. Back to the bed idea.
If there were something even more secure than your bed, and going to it were inevitable, would you hesitate to go? It is so inviting, the allure of it draws you near. But you don't go in. Even knowing that you will go - at some point you will have to go - you hesitate. You wait.
God has put out His hand. There is no more secure resting place than in His hand. Like you with the bird, He has no intention to harm you. Like the food you had for the bird, He has sustenance for you in His hand. You can trust it to be exactly what you need.
His hand doesn't grab for you. It waits for you. You must go to it. You must put everything else aside and go to it. Once you are there, you receive so much more than His nourishment. You receive His peace, His comfort, His protection.
At some point, everyone will be brought to His hand. It is better if you choose to go on your own, rather than being plucked away from the world and forced to see the back of His hand instead.
No, where you want to be is curled up in the warmth of his palm, perhaps being stroked, perhaps being cooed at. Definitely, He is smiling at the prize He holds.
So why are you not running to leap into that hand? Maybe you are like the bird and you have trust issues. Or maybe there are too many other things around you, distracting you from the hand.
Or maybe you are waiting because you don't think it's time yet. You want more out of the world before you settle into the comfort of the hand.
Really? When I sleep on the couch, I get a kink in my neck. My bed was made for comfortable sleep. If I don't go to bed in time, I stay up and just get more tired. For what? A movie on TV? Time on the computer? Is any of it better than a full night's sleep in my bed? NO!
God's hand has His hand out for you. You were made to be held in His hand, and you won't be quite right anywhere else. You can stay away, but why? What in this world is better than God's comfort and love? Nothing is. You will need to go to Him eventually. Do it while the welcome is open.
Oh, and the best thing about His hand? There's no alarm clock. You never have to leave. So snuggle in. You've got all eternity to get comfortable.
P.S. - This post was completed at 11:38 p.m. Time for bed!
I have no more blissful feeling than the moment I slide between the sheets on my bed and settle my head on my pillow. My winter sheets are plush, so they are never cold in the winter. Honestly, sometimes the only way I can motivate myself to stop what I am doing at night and go to bed, is by thinking about my awesome bed. It's the first thing for which I give thanks in my evening prayers.
The very second I am under the covers, I can feel my muscles relax. It's usually accompanied by a soft exhale of contentment. After that moment of recognition, I spend the next few minutes getting my position just right - completely sprawled out, but allowing my husband enough room to stay on the bed too.
It rarely takes me more than a few minutes to completely surrender to sleep, and I almost always sleep well.
I realize that not too many of you can relate to that. Putting aside any biological difficulties you might have and I do not, the reason could be because I have learned to embrace that concept of "surrender."
I am blessed to have few worries that consume me. Yes, blessed. In realizing that, I feel free to let go of the more trivial thoughts at night. When I relax my body at night, I am also relaxing my mind.
"Now I lay me down to sleep... body, spirit, and mind."
In the Bible, those who were most desperate for the Lord's favor laid themselves prostrate, or flat out, face to the ground. To me, that always seemed to be a way of bowing to the recognition of God's supremacy.
He can't be everything until we are nothing. We need to relax our grip on everything we control. Our relationship with God can only total 100%. How much is us, and how much is God? Are you giving up 100% of yourself to allow 100% of Him in? Or are you keeping back, say 20% of yourself and only allowing 80% of Him in? Is there 20% of you that thinks you can do it on your own, not needing God's help?
Let's get back to the sleeping idea.
There have been times when I have been so dog tired that I have fallen asleep in a sitting position. It doesn't work well; that's a terrible way to sleep. But, the more reclined I am, the better I will sleep.
You see, to stay in an upright position, you have to retain some control over your muscles. The more upright you are, the more muscles you use. Standing, or even sitting, is your body saying, "I got this. I can do it."
However, when you surrender every muscle you have to sleep, you allow yourself the consequence of whatever your body will do without your conscious assent. Often times, our brain wants to take over that control as well and not allow complete surrender.
I wonder if God made our bodies to sleep best when lying down just for that specific purpose - so that we can practice giving up 100% every night.
I pray we can surrender 100% to Him every day, as yes, just as we wake up, stand up, and get out of bed every day, taking back control of our bodies, each day we also need to relax our control back to his guardianship.
Doesn't it feel better to relax anyway?
So, good night to you! Sleep loose...
I believe the temperature outside right now, on this February morning, is hovering around 32º. How do I know? Because the rain outside switches between liquid rain and frozen rain periodically. (Something my older daughter and I have termed, "snizzling," a cross between drizzle and snow.)
No one wants to go outside in that mess. (I could be wrong, there might be some labradors who love this kind of thing.) Seeing it from your bedroom window, you might start wondering how important it really is to go out and run errands today, or if today might be a good time to ask your boss again about the possibility of working from home.
I recently bought some new sheets for our bed that are "plush." Honestly, I hate crawling into bed at night and shivering until my body heat warms the bed up enough to sleep. These new sheets bypass that step, and actually encourage me to jump right into bed at night.
You know the consequence already, don't you? I don't want to leave that cozy haven. My problem is not unusual, as the morning comments on Facebook are often related to the many other folks wishing to be back in their own cozy havens too. Yet, every day we do it. Get out of bed, and then complain about it.
So here I am to save the day! (Cue Mighty Mouse music.) Okay, maybe just your morning. Below are my tips for an easier way to get out of bed in the morning:
Warm blankets are great. But so is sunshine on your face. Here's to a great day, and congratulations for making it out of bed today! Here's hoping tomorrow will be a little easier for you.
Passion Under Grace,