It's 1:50 in the morning on Sunday and I'm sitting here at the kitchen table because I can't sleep. I can't sleep because I am restless. I am restless because my mind is turning. My mind is turning because today something alarmed me. Something alarmed me because Anthony had a moment at the water park that caused me to think that some thing's not right with him physically.
So, tonight after we watched The Bucket List, I listened to him talk to me and I heard something in his voice that made me believe he thought something was wrong, too. When we rolled over to go to sleep I began to pray. Almost immediately I was reminded of the Habitation service coming up next Sunday - a week from now. I was reminded that this Habitation service is one of healing - of what kind and to what extent, we do not know - but it's a service of healing nonetheless.
Was God reminding me for a purpose? Was that His way of confirming that something is wrong and that He plans on healing Anthony? What should have reassured me only made me think more.
And after sharing this with Anthony I had this strong sense that God wanted me to get up because He had something to say to me. I listened to a worship song, had a moment of dealing with the dog and then felt pushed to read Skip's devotion from yesterday... one I had already deleted from my inbox without reading it. This is what it said... this is what God wanted to say to me...
but Jesus was asleep Matthew 8:24
Asleep – Without saying a word, Jesus still reflects an Old Testament perspective on life. To sleep in the midst of a storm reveals complete confidence in the sovereignty of God, just as the Scripture suggests in Leviticus 26:6 (lying down with no concern about trouble), Job 11:18-19 (resting securely) and Psalm 3:5 (the Lord protects the righteous even in sleep). Jesus is the Old Testament man even when He is doing nothing at all.
Sleep is perhaps the truest indicator of our confidence in God. You know this whenever you observe a small child sleeping. No cares, no worries, no wrinkles on the face, the child enters into a refreshing rest confident that someone else is taking care of the world. How tragic it is when children are robbed of this great blessing from God due to circumstances of life! How wonderful to be reminded that God watches over a child in spite of the vulnerability. But too often, we think, “I wish I could sleep like that.” We have allowed the care of the world and the deceit of riches to rob us of God’s outpouring of grace, found only when our eyes are closed.
The disciples couldn’t imagine how Jesus could sleep in the midst of such danger. Jesus couldn’t imagine how they could be so concerned when they were in the presence of God. It’s a matter of perspective, isn’t it? Most of our stormy Mondays are really a matter of misaligned perspective. Once we forget that God is absolutely sovereign, we are vulnerable to all the chaos around us. That noise and confusion shouts only one message, “Be afraid!” That’s when we need to notice that Jesus is asleep in the boat. His life is governed by the tender care and total control of the Father. If we rest in the Father’s arms, there isn’t a single storm in all the world that can disturb our refreshing slumber.
I remember years ago sitting in the bedroom of my oldest son when he was about three years old. He was sleeping so soundly. His face was radiantly relaxed. He was perfectly at ease. I was weeping. My life wasn’t at all like his. My life was full of sorrow, regret and remorse. My life was chaotic, and that chaos would eventually touch him. I knew even then that my sins were spinning out of control and it was only a matter of time before his tender slumber would be turned into nightmares – all because I was falling apart. I can remember that time like it was yesterday. My tears were not for me. They were for my son. My sins robbed him of his innocence. Within a few months, I was divorced. His life was never the same. Neither was mine. The pain of that lost sleep still haunts me, after nearly thirty years. In those days I didn’t pay attention to the God who was sleeping in my storm-tossed boat. If I had only looked at Him, I might have seen the peace that I so longed to have. But I looked out at those crashing waves and listened to that roaring wind, and decided that I needed to make my own way to the shore. I threw away a child’s rest in order to save myself. And I drowned. No one can save himself.
Perhaps you are like me. Perhaps you looked toward the storm surrounding you. Perhaps you forgot about God asleep in the boat. Look back! The security you need to survive is not on the shore. It’s in the storm-tossed boat with you, asleep under the protection of the compassionate Father. Why don’t you just close your eyes and rest next to Him?