"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Friday, June 4, 2010

Asleep on the boat

Traveling around often on airplanes, trains, and automobiles I watch in awe my son's ability to sleep anywhere. Just yesterday, traveling from the train to the airport, he fell asleep in minutes of sitting down on the bus. We sat down. His head found my lap. His feet made their way comfortably part way up the window and he conked-out...head-back-mouth-open-deep, beautiful sleep. If it weren't for the noise of the bus, I am sure I would have heard snoring. He amazes me. He really can sleep anywhere.

Early in his life, it used to be a joke in our family. As we often traveled around the city on the metro in Turkey, we could almost predict that the moment I would sit down with him on my lap... he would be "out cold". He seems to have the wonderful gift of finding sound sleep on any form of transportation. Actually, this sleep was (and is) a big blessing. For my son transportation means one of two things... sleep or throwing up. There doesn't seem to be much in between. We are always glad to see him sleeping while we travel.

This last week we had the privilege of receiving some great teaching at a conference we attended. One of the passages that the speaker emphasised was in Mark 4, where we find Jesus asleep on a cushion at the stern of a boat. He was sound asleep while the others were afraid and experiencing a fierce "furious squall". (A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped - Mark 4:37). Sweet, deep, undisturbed sleep.

It reminds me of an airplane flight we once took, where the turbulence was so bad that people were literally screaming, throwing up, and praying all around me. I, too, was very afraid and feeling quite ill as we bounced around on the waves of air! Immediately when it started, I looked over at my family in the three seats next to me. And, my sweet family,... my husband, my daughter, and my son were sound asleep. Deep, lovely, sweet sleep. My son's head rested on my lap and he was unmoved, undisturbed. They missed the whole thing!

The speaker this past week mentioned, almost in passing, one possible reason for Jesus' deep sleep that day. He was tired, yes. But, more than that (I was VERY tired that infamous plane flight), Jesus was resting. He was truly resting. He was trusting. And, bigger than that, He was completely secure in who He was. He was secure in His sonship, the preacher said. This struck me as very significant.

Jesus knew who He was. He intimately knew the One who created the wind and the waves. He, Himself, was with the Father and together they had created, and that very day sustained, the wind, the waves, and those on the boat. He could rest in that. He knew. He was secure. He could trust and rest... and sleep right through a storm.

As a family, when we hit "bumps" in the road... when we experience turbulence (literally and figuratively)... when the "waves" are coming in our "boat", my kids instinctively look up at me and ask with one quick look--- "am I okay?". They are trusting me. They are relying on their sonship and my knowledge to assure them that they will be fine. When I answer them with security (security in the situation OR in our God), they just believe me. They trust my "yes, you are okay!" response. That is childlike faith, isn't it? True and deep trust. ...Mom, are we okay... Dad, is everything going to be fine?!... They ask us with their eyes and await our response that gives them security.

But, sometimes they just sleep through it. Sometimes they are so trusting and so able to rest that they can just sleep. They "sleep" through our problems often, you might say. And, what a joy that is! I love that my kids can fall asleep on the bus. I can hardly imagine sleeping with so much trust on a bus. If I sleep while traveling, it is always as if I am asleep with one eye opened. My sleep while on trains, plains and buses is never deep, never sound and not peaceful.

Is this true of my sleep while experiencing the storms of life, too?

Jesus just conked out. Was His head-back, mouth opened and was He snoring?! Jesus just knew He was okay. He knew and trusted. He was secure. He could close His eyes, lay His head in His Father's lap, and fall asleep right there on the boat. I love this picture. I love that the Son of God could fall asleep on that boat.

May I grow in my knowledge of You, my kind Father. May I grow in my trust and my security in You, my Father. May I learn to look to you, awaiting your secure response and trusting that "Yes! everything is going to be okay!" May I trust your words to me... ALL things will work out for good, I love you. Continue to teach me, Father, to sleep on the boat and to rest in my "sonship".
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