Asleep in the Arms of God

Kristin sleeping on me - 1975

I am warning you up front – short post tonight. Because I have been on the go since early this morning, and have just now, at 10:30 pm, finished my last phone call. I still have some of my emails to go through, but frankly, I am too tired to answer any of them with any degree of thought, so I might just let it go until morning.

The tired feeling I am experiencing is because I worked hard today – one of those days that is mentally and physically exhausting; but I honored the Lord with my work all day. Did you ever have one of those days? When you ended up really beat, but you knew you dedicated yourself to being the best you can be? If so, then you know how fulfilling that can be. It almost seems that all is right with the world – in the midst of the turmoil and problems and issues that I am honored to be able to speak into with those people who have entrusted the care of their companies to me.

There’s only one problem. Sometimes, I am so tired that I fall asleep in the middle of my devotions; or my prayer time. And admittedly, I don’t like that when it happens. But I remember years ago that I learned that we fall asleep when we feel safe and secure; and what better time to fall asleep than when you are safely in the arms of God? I used to think that this was disrespectful to the Father, but I have since come to believe that when we honor God with our work, God understands our human need for rest.

When I first became a father, when Kristin was born, I remember how good it felt when she would curl up on my chest and fall asleep. I remember how intent I was that nothing would interfere with her rest, and I would have done almost anything to make sure that her sleep was peaceful and undisturbed. Was it the sound of my heartbeat, or that she felt safe? I don’t know, but when Jill came along, she did the same thing – and even Andrew exhibited the same tendencies – although not as much as the girls. I imagine that God feels the same way when we fall asleep in his arms. Now I realize that I am discussing human traits that I attribute to God – we don’t even know that God has arms, or a chest to lay on. But in my mind, He does, and that’s good enough for me.

These human traits that we assign to God are called anthropomorphisms – that is, traits that we give to non-human beings. And the Bible is filled with many of them – such as the “hand” of God, the “face” of God, the “finger” of God; and many others. So I don’t feel so strange when I tell you that I fall asleep “in the arms of God”. Because you know what I mean – it resonates with you. And I can’t help but believe that God wants me to be so comfortable in His presence that I can fall asleep. It’s not meant to be disrespectful – it’s just safe.

One last point on this topic – I used to get annoyed when people in my Bible study would periodically fall asleep. Eventually, I figured out that it was an honor. Because, even being tired, they would rather come and listen, and be in community with other people that stay home, and be alone. And when someone feels so comfortable, and safe, that they can fall asleep in your presence, I really do consider it an honor. And that’s the way I look at it, even today.

So, there you have it. My take on sleeping in the presence of God. The verse tonight is from Proverbs 24:33, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—”. My encouragement tonight is that God wants you to feel safe in His arms, and to fall asleep in His presence if that is what you need to do. We no longer live under the Law of the Old Testament, but now we live under God’s grace – that is, undeserved favor, so know that He understands. My prayer is that you will be authentic with our Father in heaven and always let Him know your needs – including sleep. God is an understanding God; and he’s waiting for you right now. And as far as I am concerned, I am really tired…. and God is waiting with open arms…good night…zzzzzzzzzzz……….

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