“When God Wakes You Up”
|By: Kristin England; ©2001|
|Does guilt or anxiety keep you awake at night? Kristin England explains how she received the peace to allow her to sleep well at night, and the joy she now gets when God “wakes her up” to spend time with Him in prayer. This is part twenty of a series dealing with the after-effects of abortion.|
I was groggy…could scarcely see any light in the room. It felt like someone had the pillow over my face and was smothering me. What was wrong? I couldn’t wake up. Was I drugged? It was like I was in a fog and couldn’t remember where I was. I knew something was wrong and I had to get up and see what it was. Finally, I managed to pull myself out of bed and feel my way to the living room. There I found the kids I was baby-sitting. I could barely see them through thick black smoke.
The kids had been making French fries and the grease caught on fire. They had put out the flames, but the house was still full of smoke and so were my lungs. When I blew my nose it was pitch black. I thought to myself, “I could have died in my sleep if something hadn’t woke me.” That was a frightening experience. The kids thought all would be okay because they had put out the fire (with the help of the big red truck out front!), but they hadn’t realized that the smoke could have been just at deadly as the flames.
After the firemen left, I asked them if they were going to just let me die in my sleep. They said they thought they could take care of things themselves and not have to wake me because they didn’t want to get in trouble for cooking in the middle of the night. Their wrong doings could have been fatal.
Such are our sins. We think all will be okay if we snuff out the flames so no one can see them. Yet the smoldering smoke can be destructive. The torment of our unrepented sins can eat away at our hearts and wake us in the night or, worse yet, not let us get to sleep at all.
I used to toss and turn for sometimes hours…even most all the night. I would be so tired the next day. I tried over-the-counter sleeping pills, alcohol, and the like; but nothing worked. I took anti-depressants but they made it difficult for me to function the next day. In fact, I totaled my car driving to work on one of those mornings when I was still feeling the effects of my nightly anti-depression pills. I just couldn’t seem to put on my brakes fast enough. I was like a zombie. So many wakeful nights…so many nightmares…so worn out with guilt!
Do you have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep as I did? Seems the harder I tried to fall asleep the wider-awake I would get. The struggle of it all made me even wearier. I finally learned the secret for getting a good night’s sleep. It came about without my even realizing it. One day I just looked back and noticed I didn’t have trouble falling asleep anymore. The cure was totally free too! The answer was a right relationship with God. We can have this relationship by repenting of our sins, forgiving others that have hurt us, and living a righteous life with much prayer. Meditating on God’s word and obeying what we learn are key factors here.
I thought I could hide my secret sins, but they tormented me so I could never find real rest. The answer was so simple yet it took so long to learn the cure. God was right there all along waiting for me to come to Him. He was right there waiting for me to talk to Him. He was waiting to be my best friend and give me the peace and rest I searched for. Real peace depends on our relationship with God. “Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!” (Galatians 6:7 New Living Translation) If we have unrepented sin, then God will not let us rest. And I am thankful that He wants to restore our relationship with Him.
Now I usually fall asleep and sleep through the night. But I do still have nights when I wake up in the middle of the night. I have learned that the first thing I should do is pray to God and ask what it is He wants to talk to me about or what He wants me to pray to Him about. These times usually occur because I have tried to solve problems MY way instead of trusting God to take care of things. Why do we keep trying to handle things our way when we have a loving Heavenly Father who wants to bless us and give us the desires of our hearts?
Some of these special nights of prayer have turned out to be times of really crying out to Him. They are the times that He answers my prayers right away so that I know for sure that God does hear my prayers and cares. I’m always quick to thank Him for these times when He makes Himself known to me and lets others see Him at work in my life. These are the special times when He increases my faith.
I guess it all boils down to whether or not we have enough faith to believe that He knows what is best for us and is able to do anything…whatever it takes…to solve all our problems and bring glory to Himself. Sometimes it’s hard to give up being “in control” of everything. It’s sometimes hard to turn our problems over to God in prayer and not go back to pick up our load of burdens all over again. Those heavy loads will cause us to lose sleep needlessly. He tells us in Psalm 55:22: “Cast your cares [burdens] on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” I want to say as David did in verse 23: “But as for me, I trust in You.”
“I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. God, who is enthroned forever, will hear them and afflict them—Selah” (Psalm 55:16-19)
I think back to where I was before God so mercifully reached down and drew me to Himself…I remember the death and misery He rescued me from and can’t help but thank Him. “In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise—in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” (Psalm 56:10-13)
We must trust that God truly will forgive us all our sins… even the sin of abortion. To know for sure that we are forgiven and will one day spend eternity in Heaven with our children is enough to make us shout with joy and trust our lives in His loving care.
I’ve read the bumper sticker that says, “God is my co-pilot”. Well, I hope to say daily, “God is my pilot because I can’t fly!”