Devotional Readings

Sleeping the Sleep of the Righeous

Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Matthew 8:23, 24, NKJV.

Does it seem to you that more and more is required of you every day? That the demands of work, family, your children’s school–not to mention the burgeoning red-tape that business bureaucracies as well as government are piling up–are just too much?

Sometimes it reminds me of that story about Jesus asleep in the boat in the midst of a storm. Usually when we preachers tell this story, we go to the part where Jesus commands the winds and the waves to “be still.” But it seems to me there is an even larger lesson in the simple fact that He was sound asleep in a sinking boat that was taking on water, with the wind howling and the stinging rain all around Him! “He slept the sleep of the righteous,” an older deacon once told me after I preached on this topic. Christ had placed Himself in the hands of His Father and He could sleep completely, deeply, and untroubled no matter the commotion and fear all around him.

The transforming grace of Jesus is just like that. With all of the muddled demands of supervisors (or your staff), requirements of clients and vendors, corporate switchboards with excessive telephone trees and disembodied voice mail, and unexpected emergencies of your children (or your parents)–with all of that, the transforming grace of the Lord Jesus Christ can help you sleep “the sleep of the righteous.” There can be peace on the inside if we allow that transforming grace to permeate our heart and mind completely.

Frankly, I think Jesus would probably tell us that multitasking is a tool of the devil. The Creator did not make human beings to be pushed to the limit, sucked dry of every bit of energy in order for employers to increase productivity. We have a pandemic of degenerative diseases in America that are the direct result of trying to get too much out of life without putting the same investment back in. Everyone wants to win the lottery; everyone wants to get more than they pay for. Very soon Jesus is coming back to tell us, “Enough is enough!”

We can live in the promise of that coming Kingdom of Peace every day, no matter the storms around us, no matter the excessive demands of bosses, corporations, and institutions.

May the peace and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today and every day!

–Monte Sahlin

from Fit Forever: One-A-Day Devotionals for Body, Mind, and Spirit
Kay Kuzma (editor) | Review & Herald (2005)
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