“Wait a minute,” I said, “let me put on some lipstick before you shoot that video.”
Why can’t I toss vanity out the window? But dare I say that we all have a trace of that from time to time, don’t we?
Some of us are way too conscious. We dress well to look sharp, dress up so we look great, wear black to look thin, fix the hair so we look young, and dress down to look cool.
And beyond how we look, we strive to do what might be impressive. We try hard to reach the top, get busy doing good stuff or even go places to rave about what we did.
Those efforts aren’t bad, unless they rule our lives. Or unless they stir electric signals to the brain, keeping it awake when it should be resting.
This past Saturday, at the Access Life event for individuals and their families living with disabilities, a sort of strange animal taught me a big lesson about total trust and rest. I got to hold a “turken” or naked neck chicken. This peaceful little creature is half turkey and half chicken. The body of a chicken, the neck of a turkey and the head of a chicken. Since I’m not able to “see” it, I imagine it to be a sort of ugly creature.
But does it even show concern about its looks? You tell me. As I held it, it fell asleep. It had no clue a blind woman was holding it. It didn’t care how it looked, what appearance it displayed or even care about who took its picture. It showed no worry about others staring at her.
Why can’t we be like that? Why can’t we rest in peace just the way we are—with failures that might be known. With flaws that stand out. With weaknesses that are evident, or things left undone? And in face of it all, we, dare to live in complete trust. In total peace. And undisturbed confidence, the kind of confidence that we too fall asleep in God’s arms.
But we can. And here are three steps to enjoy sweet sleep in those long nights:
- Smile at the image in the mirror. Admire God’s creation and repeat: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14) If He made us wonderfully, why fret about our body?
- No matter what happens, what doesn’t happen, we rest, fully and completely because of where we are: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:1-2) With Him as our fortress and refuge, worry and tension can’t exist.
- Let go what is yet undone. The work God is doing in us is not completed. The plans He has for us are still in action because God’s Word says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10.) If God prepared the work, He’s mighty enough to show us the way to accomplish it.
Father, when restlessness robs our sleep, may we recognize that your kindness, your nurturing and protection is enough to grant the calmness of our thoughts, the peace in our heart and the serenity for our days. We will claim full rest each night, in Jesus’ name we declare it. Amen.
- What keeps you awake at night?
- Do your thoughts align with God’s Word?
- How do you find restful sleep?
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