February 25, 2008

Sleeping or trusting?

My dad used to say that there were few problems that could not be solved by a good night’s sleep. I’m not sure all problems require sleep to fix them, but I do know that fatigue makes problems appear larger and more difficult. Even little things seem impossible when I’m tired.

Those little things also grow proportionate to the time they remain unresolved. I author a web page that has been moved to a new web host. After weeks of trying to find out the problems and then finding the best solution, the way the Internet works means the site is still not properly uploaded and available for everyone at its registered domain name. This takes far more time than a Google search, but isn’t the end of the world. It is only an anxious little knot that yammers at me when I try to sleep.

Stress does it too. I’ve dozens of prayer burdens, some small and others very large. Family and friends struggle with everything from overwork to lack of work. The worst (for me) is that my husband is experiencing odd health symptoms. Are these related to his CLL or his heart attack, or are they something new? He plans for life, but scary thoughts dance around our minds like fiends chanting otherwise.

Last night I felt ready for bed just after supper, yet stayed up a bit longer to watch the Oscars. I’d been better off to go for the extra sleep; I’ve not seen any of those movies and really don’t care who wins (even though it was nice to see our hockey team win as we flipped channels during the commercials). Sleep seemed to be my greater need.

Yet sleep is not all that I need for solving big or small issues. Sometimes I need to admit I cannot solve them and my only option is to place them in the hands of the Lord. Prayer is lovely, but the enemy hacks at me from a million angles to keep my from spending time with the Lord. This battle is tiresome, to say the least.

Sometimes I need to sacrifice my will for God’s will and do something about the problems that I don’t want to do. That battle also takes far too much energy and I’d be better off if I just quit procrastinating and obeyed Him.

The Bible promises good things when I choose to trust Him and do as He asks. Psalm 37:3-7 say:
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret. . . .
Delight is a large factor in energy conservation. When I delight in doing anything, the time goes faster and my fatigue level is almost nonexistent. Sure, delight is more difficult if I’m already tired, but the delight in these verses, delighting in God, is possible, tired or not.

My devotional reading for today says, “We ‘delight’ to do the will of God, not because our piety is so exalted, but because we have the sense to see that His will is the best; and therefore what He wants we want also. This sort of delight, while it may not be as pleasing to ourselves, is far more satisfactory to Him than any amount of delight in joyous emotions or gratifying illuminations.”

Even though the author says this delight may not be pleasing to ourselves, I find it otherwise. When my delight is in the Lord and in doing the will of the Lord, the stresses of life are lifted off me as a giant crane lifts cargo off a barge. I feel rested, lighter, flushed with relief as my focus goes off the heavy, fatiguing stuff of life and unto the God who is taking care of all things. Even as I write this, my shoulders are less tense and the tightness in my throat is loosening.

God is enough. He is enough for the big and little issues of life. Sleep only helps me have more energy to face them, but giving them to God does not require energy—it requires an act of the will, something that I can do whether I am rested or bone-tired.


violet said...

Good words. I needed to read them tonight!

LC said...
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