Thursday night was one of those nights.
I texted a friend in a panic:
Everything feels so out of control.
And the response came:
Get some sleep.
My first instinct was to push back. How could I sleep right now? Do you even know what hangs in the balance? I have to DO something!
But I heard the whisper of God in that simple text message. A couple of weeks ago I skimmed this article and in this completely unexpected moment He resurrected it in my mind and said to me the same three words: get some sleep.
So I went to sleep. Not because there was nothing to be done, but because there was only one thing to be done: worship God.
Sleep is not simply surrender, it can be an act of worship. Sometimes it is the most powerful declaration and demonstration we can make that we are not in control. Our God is. And we trust Him.
I am not in control.
There’s something about staying awake planning or prepping or trembling that reveals that in deep places of our hearts you and I think that we can control our world. If I could just get this one email done…if I could just find the perfect words for that upcoming conversation…if I could just figure out what went wrong…then what? Then we would be able to control our pain and our fears.
On Thursday night I was worried about the safety of a precious friend. But I was absolutely helpless to help. The terrifying and (thank God) truth is that have no power to save or deliver.
All that was left to do was declare my helplessness.
My God is in control.
I’m a creature, and God is not. I sleep and He does not. He alone can stay awake for eternity. Which is good, because He alone needs to stay awake. He alone upholds all things by the word of His power.
I can sleep because He doesn’t.
I trust Him.
This is maybe the hardest for me. Because two months ago, as I lay sleeping a friend was shot and killed while I was ‘trusting’ God. But trusting God doesn’t mean trusting Him to make everything work out as I think it should. It means trusting Him to make everything work out as it actually should.
In light of December 5th, the most challenging and honoring thing I could do this past Thursday night was say to my God: I trust you enough to sleep while lives I love are in your hands to do with as pleases you.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time. With tears running down my cheeks, and my hands curled into fists I breathed in and out the words ‘you alone are God’. And after an eternity of time, my breathing deepened and my fingers relaxed and by the power of the Spirit I worshipped my God through sleep.