Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Silent Night Christmas Eve

Back in the eighties I co-authored a book on starting early to prepare for Christmas, (The 12 Months of Christmas). In doing the research on that book I was astonished at miracle stories of soldiers in war settings at Christmas. One story occured in World War I, on Christmas Eve. The German and British soldiers were just hundreds of yards apart. But it turned out to be much more than just another loud and scarey night of violence on the battlefield. It began when one German soldier began singing "Silent Night" from his trench. Soon he was joined in German by many more of his fellow soldiers. Amazingly, the voices of hundreds of British soldiers began to join in the carol from their trenches. Can you take in that scene? Can you hear the beautiful harmony? What a moment for those soldiers: opposing armies singing "Sleep in heavenly peace" - in the middle of a battlefield!

AS I read those stories of war life being interrupted because it was Christmas I became convinced God has the power to bring peace in the midst of all battlefields. If German and British soldiers were able to unify (even if only for a moment) in the midst of the battle and sing, "sleep in heavenly peace" surely God Almighty can bring you and me to enough peace to sleep.

God has the power to do this because He doesn't just BRING peace...HE IS peace! Ephesians 2:13-14 tells us that peace is actually a person. It says that we were "without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace."

Yesterday we studied Psalm 4:8, "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone oh Lord make me dwell in safety." We can lie down and sleep in peace even when experiencing a personal storm because we know that God will protect us despite the wind and waves that threaten us.
I recall when I was handling too many things at home, work and at church I felt my head couldn't hold all the "ought's." Finally I learned to go through the list and consciously hand it over to God; and then I could sleep. The sneaky thing about sleep apnea is that you think you are sleeping, but you fall asleep and then your airway is blocked and you have to wake enough to get your breath and this cycles over and over. Most of this occurs without you coming fully awake.

There are ways to help yourself get to sleep. Leave off caffeine after 11 AM. Don't eat heavy meals for dinner, and don't eat anything 2-3 hours before retiring to bed. A warm bath can be helpful approximately 20 minutes before going to bed. Some people are helped with "white noise" in the background or soothing music.

I recall when I was worried by issues I would have to convince myself all offices were closed and nothing could happen in the 8 hours I needed to sleep. Truly this is a matter of trust and choice. If we decide to "sort of" trust God; we are really choosing to limit our belief in His ability to help us. . We can determine to let Him be Lord over everything -- even our sleep. I have figured out ... finally, that nothing is worth losing my sleep over! Ultimately the battle is the Lord's and I must give it to Him. I can cast all of my cares upon Him, for He does care for me.

Psalm 3:1-5 (NLT)
1 O Lord, I have so many enemies;so many are against me.
2 So many are saying,“God will never rescue him!”
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;you are my glory, the one who holds my head high
.4 I cried out to the Lord,and he answered me from his holy mountain.
5 I lay down and slept,yet I woke up in safety,for the Lord was watching over me.

The assurance of answered prayer brings peace. It is easier to sleep well when we have full assurance that God is in control of all circumstances. Whenever we lie awake at night worrying about what we cannot change, we need to pour out our hearts to God. We can thank Him that He is in control. Sleep will come when we trust Him.

Sweet dreams...The Prince of Peace is Here.


sailorcross said...

Hi Kay!!

I've read that story about the battlefields before also, and isn't it amazing the power that God has!!

Sleeping peacefully--reminds me of my Mom and Dad--she used to lay awake at night worrying about things she had no control over. My Dad--he would fall asleep peacefully every night.

When she asked him his secret to this, he said, "I have a clear conscience and God is in control."

And there you have it!

Have a blessed CHRISTmas, Kay!!


Chatty Kelly said...

Kay, I keep a notebook & pen on my nightstand. When "thoughts" are keeping me awake, I write them down. Then I am free to fall asleep knowing that I can review them in clarity the next morning. And seems nothing is every as important in the light of day as it seemed in the dark of night.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! May God show us all his peace!

Rachel Olsen said...

Merry Christmas, my friend!

Yultide Blessings ~ Rachel

Devita said...

Hi!! just passing by to say Merry Christmas and Happy holiday!!

Have a great day!

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.