Sleep, Time, and the Good Shepherd

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sleep, Time, and the Good Shepherd

I haven’t blogged that much lately. Mostly, because I have not slept much lately. I miss my sleep. Sleep is a precious thing that I miss dearly, but I keep being remembered of Ecc. 3 where time is so valuable and used for different things. There are times and seasons for things in our lives. Evidently, there is a time to sleep and a time not to sleep… Not that the writer meant that there is a time to sleep. Sleep is a necessary part of being human. Not getting sleep is sheer torture.

I have had that sleep is the body’s way of healing itself. In some ways, I am sure the body does heal itself. I am a critic in many ways lately. Honestly, I think it is the lack of sleep… But I have always been a bit of a critic.

While I battle sleeplessness, muscle aches, and the pains that come from living with Fibromyalgia and not getting adequate sleep, God’s presence is very real to me. Even now, God’s presence is here and He is sustaining me. He is the One who holds me together, even when it should feel like I am falling apart.

In my Thursday class, we have been reading and rereading John 10 each week. Tonight, all I could think about is how Jesus Christ continues to be the good shepherd even amidst chaos and a busy life storm. Jesus may not remove the storm.

In John 17:15, Jesus’ prayer is not that we are taken out of the world but that we would be sanctified through God’s Word which is our truth. Jesus, my good shepherd, is many things to me especially when I am extremely fatigued and can’t sleep. Tonight as I reflected on John 10, I wrote this:

He does not run away. At times of great struggles, everyone seems to be running away from it all. They want to get as far away from the situation as possible. While they are running from it, Jesus is already there walking ahead and with His children as we walk through fire. Jesus knows our struggle before it happened! Jesus did not leave or forsake us! Jesus is the One who brings peace amidst the storm. It is something to be endured.. Even in hard times, we (I) can still hear His voice even more clearly in the midst of the trial. He deeply cares and treads the deep waters with us.. And, He leads us to pastures..

Jesus may choose not to remove my Fibromyalgia from me, but it’s all good as long as I have Him holding me tight. Even now, God is using me to be a light in a dark, hurting world of aches, pains, and frustration. This is a reality we have to endure, especially if we have chronic illnesses. It becomes our daily reality. Even though this kind of sets us apart from others, God is just using this as an opportunity to share Him and my faith with others. I can share what I am enduring and how I can know without a shadow of a doubt that God walks with me through this fire.

Isaiah 43:2 is my verse right now, as I continue to adjust and endure the new struggles that come my way. It is one we may not think of much unless we are in a rough uncomfortable place in our lives..

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)

I think one lesson I am learning is… the promises of Christ and the Bible are eternal, but they also are sooo much more valuable when we experience them first hand. Life is hard. Time has a meaning for everything, but everything happens for a reason. We may think God’s timing stinks, but it doesn’t matter. His timing is perfect. We do not have to agree with what God does in our lives (because our opinion does not matter in comparison to God’s). God knows what He is doing. When we take assure in this, our faith will grow leaps and bounds..