The weakness of our own strength

I’m generally a good sleeper so get a bit agitated if I am awake in the night. That was the case last night and it was only after I’d been awake about an hour that it dawned on me that I could usefully have spent the time praying. But my objective had been to get back to sleep rather than wake up my brain even more by praying, so how fair would that have been to God? I then recalled someone saying that God welcomes us falling asleep with a word of prayer on our lips, just as a parent enjoys a child falling asleep in their arms. Like a loving parent, God would have preferred me to turn to God rather than watch me toss and turn.

As I turned to God at that point, it came to me that God also doesn’t want to see us tossing and turning during the day either, when we’re weighing up a course of action or don’t know which way to turn about something. We perhaps spend far too much time in trying to do things in our own strength rather than seeking God’s guidance. In his first letter, Peter tells us, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

The next time you’re tossing and turning, either trying to sleep or make a decision, turn to God. If the issue is about a course of action to take, sometimes it’s about beginning to take that action and seeing if you feel a sense of peace about it. It’s a bit like pushing against a door. If it gives easily, that could be a sign of God’s affirmation; if it sticks, that be God saying, “No, not this way”.

Published by Angie Allport

Methodist minister

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