March 7th, 2004


Riding the wave

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against—tribulation, suffering, and persecution—are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. "We are more than conquerors through Him" "in all these things"; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, "I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation" (2 Corinthians 7:4).

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (7 March, "The Source of Abundant Joy")

Started writing that it's amazing what a good night's sleep can do for a person, but that's misleading and misattributing. Fact is, sleep tends to be a fight for me, a struggle to plow through the hours until the next day. Last night, for example, I woke up a couple of times in the night, looking at the clock to see how much longer the fight would go on (this is a norm). But instead of being foolish and self-pitying (another norm), I rose for water, read Psalm 61 (the psalm we're looking at for Community Group this Tuesday) and prayed a bit. So the second wind I feel this morning isn't from sleep, it's from rest—resting where I belong. That wind is His Spirit, His breath of life in me.

Speaking of sleep, anxiety dreaming has been back in force. Yesterday morning it was bad enough that I'd wake up and try to sleep again, in hopes of having a better dream to cover over the last one. Instead, they just got worse and worse. But this morning I'm realizing that there are new anxieties in the mix, rather than just treading over the same worn territory. And that's a good thing—there are nudges to action in those fears, ones I'm meant to heed.

Today's busyness doesn't feel so daunting. Off to work and worship in a few moments, and our church's monthly Gathering of Prayer is later this evening. Time to ride the wave.
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