Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Sleep has always been a fickle mistress to me. I mean, I love sleep, but sleep has not always loved me very well. In fact, my middle school years (the dark years) were plagued by severe and crippling insomnia. Most nights found me wide awake in bed, thinking, crying, succumbing to anxiety over how hellishly tired I would be the following day. It was not uncommon for me to, around six in the morning, finally slip away into a fitful hour or so of sleep. I was walking dead for most of my sixth and seventh grade years.
Insomnia was never its own issue for me, though. It was a symptom of depression, of my inability to cope with the thousand injuries to my soul which were not healing with time. Sleep eluded me because I was so wracked with guilt, confusion and a sense of betrayal over things that happened to me when I was just a kid.
I was just a kid. Just a kid who got hurt and couldn't sleep because of it.
After a year and a half of sleepless nights and sleepwalking days I could feel myself coming loose at the seems. I was cranky, mean, scared and lonely, a hopeless cocktail the worst feelings I'd ever gone through. Just a kid.
I wouldn't have lasted much longer. I wouldn't have survived another few months of this deprivation.
Good thing I didn't have to.
Some time during these years, I forget when exactly, I met some people who started to piece together a story for me. Bit by bit they unrolled a beautiful tapestry before my eyes, and I was on it. So was this man named Jesus.
This man who said He had been there at the beginning. This man who said He had made it all, and loved it all, and would die for it all. This man who, inconceivably, claimed to be God. The God of the universe, wrapped in skin, born of a virgin. This man, this God, He said something else too.
He said, "come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."
"I will give you rest," he says. I scoff. How could He possibly? How could anyone or anything?
I think back to those days, not infrequently. I remember those nights of wide-eyed, restless despair. I recall my skepticism that this magical Jesus thing could make one bit of difference to me.
And I smile, because things have not been that way for ten whole years now.
Now, I sleep. In heavenly peace, you might say.