Monday, March 16, 2009

Treasures From the Darkness

Bryan wrote this very early Friday morning~

Once again, sleep has left me in the night watches as I find myself awake in the darkness that has descended seemingly without quarter. I find I fear the night with its sleeplessness, its incessant tossing and turning, its constant clock watching, but to no avail. The night creeps along and I lie helplessly awake, a tickle cough contributing to my dilemma, for whenever it appears sleep is nigh, I'm awakened by another spasm that awakens me afresh! Or if its not the cold rearing its ugly head, its my stomach with its churning and reflux that keeps sleep at bay. I know eating too late at night, particularly carbohydrates, contributes to this, but our schedule sometimes dictates the meals be eaten later than most of us would like. So here I am, sleepless in Seattle, or at least in Tacoma! But there's more to the darkness I'm learning!

I find I've made an idol out of sleep. That's right, an idol out of a good snooze! I find I'm yearning for those halcyon days when sleep was a given, put the head on the pillow and sleep automatically came no questions asked! But those days and nights are no longer. God has sovereignly brought to me a season of sleeplessness and I must mine the treasures from this darkness!

Secondly, it is true I'm learning that God delights in communing with sleepless souls on the night watches! He delights to impart truths and insights that can only be seen when the lights are out! He wants His children to pay special attention to Him when the darkness descends and sleep flees; He wants us to light a candle of communion with Him rather than to curse the darkness, to talk to Him, have it out with Him and to otherwise wrestle with Him as Jacob did under the stars in Genesis. Jacob found both blessing and humbling after the night time encounter, he went away blessed by God and limping on a divinely dislocated hip. In other words, God did a multifaceted work in Jacob while the patriarch wrestled the night way. We must be ready to wrest blessing from a sleepless night as Jacob did by wrestling with God in prayer!

And we mustn't fear the sleepless night! We must never forget that the darkness and the light are alike to God, and that to fear the night is to set one's soul to reaping the wild wind of that very fear! Fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy as Job discovered. Nor must we fail to thank God for the night which seemingly has no end in sight. Every night ends. and the day itself will offer opportunities to recoup the losses of a night that passed seemingly without rest.


ReillyClan11 said...

I'm blessed by your words, Pastor! I will rethink the trials and sleeplessness of this life and seek the treasures. Praying for healing,

Dina said...

Dear Bryan,

Wow, do I hear a sermon being fleshed out here? :) Actually, I have just ordered the book Streams in the Desert, and although I have not yet received it, I feel as though I have just read another passage from it! You have a beautiful style of expressing yourself (i.e.:mine treasures from this darkness, sleep is nigh, without quarter) and my vocabulary was increased as well! (halcyon?) Thank you for the encouragement during sleepless nights...although I sometimes find it hard to set my mind to praying when instead, I keep telling myself sleep WILL come, it's right around the corner! Alas, 5 hours pass and the stress increases! I wish for the self-control to just get out of bed and do whatever it is I want to do! Thanks for the post, God bless you, and the chemo to be very effective at what it is supposed to be doing. Love, Dina

Letricia said...

A word of encouragement...

I relate to your trials of sleeplessness. It was a blessing to me to read in an article that all sleep is a gift from God, and will I be angry with Him if he chooses to withhold His gift for a season? (Sometimes - but it gives me a good attitude adjustment when I recognize that sleep is not an entitlement.) It gives me an opportunity to pray or think in peace and quiet which I don't get much of during the day.

My husband and I implemented several tips from the following article and it really helped us. He asked me to pass it on to you. . We hope you find it helpful.

God bless and give you good rest!

Victoria said...

Your prose is truly inspirational. Wow!