My husband can sleep anywhere. On one family vacation he fell asleep in California and didn’t wake up until Texas. I’ve always envied these types of people. I’m generally the person that reads several books and actually catches the in-flight movie on a trip – all the while looking at those sleeping people around me and wondering how they do it.
Which is why I was recently surprised to find myself in the middle of an international airport dozing in and out of consciousness. There I was lying on the cold tile, surrounded by the sounds of people, cleaning equipment, and the clicks of luggage rolling by, clutching my carry-on for dear life – and for the life of me I could not keep my eyes open. The only thought that kept making its way through my sleepy stupor was that my body knew what it needed and was past caring about what I wanted. My lack of a soft bed or body pillow to curl up with no longer mattered as my body took what it had to have.
I then wondered how many times I’ve done that spiritually. How many times I had kept my problems to myself and let my world get so overwhelmed and out of control that I found myself with no solution other than dropping my guard, going to God, and letting my soul beg for what it knew it needed. Every time I wonder how I allowed myself to get to that point to begin with.
Truth be told, before that night in the airport I hadn’t been getting much sleep anyways. Like many Americans, I sometimes find myself going in so many directions that sleep ranks on low on the priority list. A day of travel can wear anyone out, but had I already been getting the rest I needed, one night wouldn’t have been so difficult to overcome.
Truth be told again, when I face those spiritual attacks that seem overwhelming, it wouldn’t be as hard to bear if my relationship with God was already where it needed to be. When my life is full of prayer, study, and letting Him live through me I don’t reach that out of control feeling the way I do when I’m trying to do everything on my own.
God is patient and wants us to return to Him (2 Peter 3:9) and when we go to Him and ask Him to take control of our lives, He will. He wants that more than anything, for us to get out of our own way and let Him lead us. No matter what state we are in, God wants us to go to Him. We never have to fear His rejection when we go to Him with sincere and humble hearts.
BUT, God wants us to love Him and He wants us to serve Him. He wants us to let others know about Him and His love and mercy and grace. That’s hard to do when our lives are an endless cycle of thinking we can handle it until we suddenly realize we can’t. It’s hard when we use God as a last-chance emergency exit for our problems instead of living for Him on a daily basis.
Sisters, let Christ take control of your lives. Don’t deprive yourself of the one thing that matters in this life and the next. Life happens, Satan will attack, and problems will come up. When they do you’ll a) turn your back on Him, b) go to Him in desperation and wild hope, or c) go to Him with the knowledge that you already have a relationship and the confidence that He will take care of you. The decisions you make today will make a world of difference then.
By Lauren Bookout
Lauren and her husband, Travis serve with the Morton Street church of Christ in Denison, TX where Travis is the pulpit preacher. Lauren is the Editor for KatharosNOW, a website and monthly e-zine devoted to helping teen girls be set apart for Christ. She is currently a graduate student at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and is planning to graduate this year. Lauren has had the privilege of speaking at several Girls’ Days and is available to speak. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (580) 380-9720