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Sunday, March 11, 2012

God Watches His Precious Children Sleep

“…indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

Psalm 121:4 NIV

At the end of a day of work or after I have been out all day, there is nothing I like better than coming home and kicking off my shoes, taking off my slacks or skirt that are a little too tight in the waist, getting out of my unmentionables and putting on a lounging outfit or my comfy robe and slippers. It is funny how those simple bindings of life (that we women wear on our bodies) keep us from true relaxation. No wonder we are often uptight and tense. Those tight jeans and uncomfortable shoes are squeezing the very life out of us!

I often wonder what it will be like to step from this life into heaven. My brother-in-law, Dale had been sick for many years. One day when my husband and I went to visit him he told us that the night before he had had a vision of heaven. We asked him what it was like. He stammered trying to find words to describe his experience. Finally, all he could say was, “It was royal, just royal!” He went on to tell us that he did not want to come back but God told him it was not yet time and that he must go back. A few weeks later he went to be with the Lord. It is comforting to know that Dale is now in a place that is royal!

I envision heaven to be an amazing place of beauty. Streets so perfect that they shine as gold. Beautiful gardens where every flower, bush and tree continuously blooms forever! When I step into this wonderful place I will lay down my burdens and all that binds and restricts me here on earth. I wonder what it will be like to feel shear pleasure and joy as I enter into the holy presence of God and meet my Savior face to face. I guess it will be… well, yes you guessed it…royal, just royal! But even in this life Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NIV We don’t have to wait for heaven to experience God’s amazing gift of rest.

For me I love giving the morning hours to Jesus because it is when I am rested, relaxed and the most alert. I can begin my day by loving Jesus and having him love on me. I know that the rest of my day will go much smoother because I have carved out time for him. Of course, a crisis will occur, time will be short, temperaments will clash, and there will be needs to be met. Chances are I will handle all of those challenges better because I have been to the garden.

As the day ends and evening finds me inside the comfort of my home, my mind goes to the Master Gardner once again. I take off my shoes and change into something more comfortable. This ritual reminds me of how important it is to come to Jesus every evening with all of my burdens and cares that have been a part of my busy day. It is a time to free my mind of all that has bound me throughout the day. As I prepare for receiving God’s rest I say, “Lord, here I am at the end of another busy and stressful day. So Father, as I prepare for sleep I want my last thoughts to be of you. God, how did I do today? How can I do better tomorrow? Forgive me for all of the places I came up short. Remind me of the places that I was found lacking in mercy, love and grace. Help me to do a better job tomorrow. Thank you for all of your amazing blessings in my life and thank you for rest.” As I drift off into sweet sleep I hear the faint movement of a chair. I imagine God pulling up a chair and setting beside my bed as he prepares to watch me sleep. Just as it brought me pleasure to watch my children and grandchildren sleep, I hope I bring my Father pleasure as well. In the last few conscious moments of this day I feel loved because I know I am his precious child. I am comforted to know that all through the night the eyes of the Almighty God keeps vigil right next to my bed as he lovingly watches me sleep and pours over me his wonderful rest!

If you are a young parent, take heart. Your life will not always be so demanding. Your children will learn to feed themselves, go to the bathroom alone, they will get on the bus and go off to school, they will learn to do their homework independently, drive a car, and maybe even learn to do their own laundry. Your life will not always be the crazy circus it is today.

But even if carving out time for God seems to be impossible, I still encourage you to find a few minutes every day to focus on God. Ask God to show you how and when you can do this and then be obedient. Do not be eaten up with guilt if you miss a day or two, just keep trying. God has gifted you with the ability to do a million things at one time. Use your intelligence, giftedness and creativity to find a few minutes every day to grow in your relationship with Jesus. Because God is not an “in your face” God, it is easy to push him aside. When I was a young mother and I had to cut something out of my life, God always seemed to be the first to go. That was not wise then and it is not wise now. Being a godly man or woman is the most amazing gift you will ever give your spouse or your children. Our busy lifestyle presents all of us with great challenges. But perhaps there are still a few moments in your day to be found. I promise you the time you spend with God will be the best help you will get all day. I can tell you from experience no matter what season of life you are in Satan will always mess with this part of your life. Be aware and don’t allow him to interfere. Somehow time spent with God is NOT lost but multiplied!


Do you find life to be binding and restrictive?

What is it that you need rest from? Is it confinement, pain, responsibilities, lonliness?

Do you find yourself stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed?

Do you find it comforting to know that God watches you sleep?


Dear God,

I come to you and invite you to bring peace and rest to my tired and weary body. Today Lord, I want to turn lose all that binds me and I look to you for rest. Lord, I am reminded that I will sleep tonight but you never sleep. I know that when I wake in the morning your provision will be waiting for me. So tonight I know that you will be busy setting the stage and organizing all that concerns me for the day ahead. I imagine that right before I wake you will be preparing my morning coffee and fluffing the pillow in my favorite chair so that I cannot resist meeting you in the garden of my heart as I begin my day. No doubt, you will have already contacted the angels that are scheduled to surround me tomorrow. Lord, I thank you that you always go before me preparing my way. Thanks God for not sleeping! Father, I thank you for your rest and for another opportunity to do things better today and tomorrow.

In your Son’s name I pray. Amen