Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Friday, November 21, 2008
Do you know what it’s like to try and wake up in the middle of the night when you’re absolutely worn out? Do you know what it’s like to be so tired that you would gladly endure tortures upon waking if you could only sleep a bit more? Do you know what it feels like to have eyelids that aren’t merely heavy, but wrought of barbed steel, oppressive in both weight and pain? Do you know how sweet it feels to close eyes like that and simply go back to sleep? If you’ve ever had a newborn baby, you know what I’m talking about. You know what it’s like to hear a little choke in the middle of the night, fly out of the covers and try to hustle over to the bassinet while you stumble and sway in delirious confusion because your equilibrium is nowhere to be found. You know it’s like to be so tired that you honestly believe death is next. Well, that’s where we are right now with our new baby, and if you think I’m being overly dramatic, it’s because I am exhausted!
I always want to be the most involved and helpful dad I can, which means that I try so hard to wake up and help Christy in the middle of the night when Jack is awake to eat or be changed. Sometimes I’m right there when she needs me, ready with a diaper or ready to swaddle him back up for sleep, but many times Christy looks over and sees me dead on my pillow while she looks after our boy. Well, the thing she doesn’t know is that even though I appear to be peacefully sleeping, I am actually waging a war inside my head. Part of me is screaming, “Come on! Get up!” While the rest of me is saying, “You don’t know the power of the dark side!” I try so hard to get up, but sometimes it seems like I just can’t. Christy could be dead to the world and if Jack breathes too heavily she’s fully awake, but there are times I wouldn’t wake up if Jack were wielding a chainsaw in the middle of a circus. Christy is always super sweet about it of course and encourages me to just stop fighting it and go to sleep, but still the battle rages on.
Yesterday I was reading about the night of our Lord’s betrayal in the garden of Gethsemane in a book by a guy called G. Campbell Morgan who was one of the most awesome preachers and thinkers around the turn of the twentieth century. He was talking about how Jesus kept finding His best friends asleep in the moments of His greatest agony and sorrow and the way in which He dealt with them. If you read Mark 14 in the NIV, you get the feeling Jesus is chewing them out for sleeping. He says, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough!” But Campbell Morgan says there may be more to the story. You see, the Greek text didn’t have all those question marks and exclamation points. He said it could be read, (and in fact reads this way in the KJV) “Sleep on now and take your rest: it is enough…”
Wanting to get to the bottom of this, I looked up that word ‘enough’ in the Greek and it’s a word that means ‘to have’ or ‘to receive.’ It’s used in Matthew 6:5 when Jesus says that people who pray in public to be seen by men “have” their reward in full. So, Jesus wasn’t really saying, “You’re still sleeping? Enough!” as in, “Stop it already!” He was probably saying, “You’re still sleeping? It’s okay… have it… receive that rest.” It was like He was saying, “You can’t watch with me for one hour? That’s okay. Rest up. I know you want to, but your body is weak and tired. It’s okay; Judas isn’t here yet. I’ll stay up and watch.”
When I realized this, I burst into tears! How many nights has Christy taken care of Jack while I furiously wrestled my own heavy eyes and gave in to sleep?! Oh the number of times she has looked at me with that motherly calm and said, “Just go to sleep, baby.” Campbell Morgan said that in this scene we see the motherly affections of our Lord. Wow. This is what I love about Jesus… that even in the moment of His deepest distress when He was staring down the barrel of the wrath of God, He’s motherly in tenderness and care. When I’m sleepy and ought to be awake, He knows. He knows we are but dust and He cares for us even still.