Yesterday, I rocked my four-month-old grandson to sleep and held him in the darkened room for a little under an hour. I smelled the scent of his freshly washed hair. I watched his chest rise and fall and felt his heartbeat along with my own. When he stirred, I patted his back until he calmed. What a sweet time it was to me.
While I held him, I wondered why God made our bodies with a need to sleep almost a third of our lives. Does he enjoy watching his children rest? Does he hold us in his arms as we sleep? Does he calm us when we stir?
I have always been a sound sleeper, but over the years my sleep has occasionally been disturbed by concerns for my children, health issues of loved ones, unresolved conflicts, and even anticipation of upcoming events. Preparing for the weekend visit with my kids, I’d cleaned, shopped, baked, and planned. Each morning I rose earlier than the previous day, with a list to complete.
As the holidays approach, there will be meals to prepare, shopping to do, packages to wrap, opportunities to volunteer, church events to attend, family obligations to meet, annual communications to write… Just writing this list makes me anxious!
During the busy seasons of life—whether they be holiday seasons or the busy season of childrearing—it’s a challenge to make time to spend with the Lord. It comforts me to know Jesus understands my struggle. I’m reminded of the passage in Luke, when Jesus speaks to Martha.
Now as they were traveling along, (Jesus) entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 NASB
I can imagine the compassionate tone of voice Jesus used when he said Martha’s name two times. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things…” and I can hear him speak my own name just as lovingly, “Nicole, Nicole…”
Mary had chosen to sit at Jesus’ feet. She listened to his teaching, watched his face, loved him. I get so distracted by my ‘to do’ lists, I forget how sweet it is to sit with my Lord in prayer and listen to his voice in his word. Thanksgiving and Christmas are all about thanking God for his blessings and the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.
This season, won’t you join me in taking Jesus’ admonition to heart—and choose the good part which will not be taken away. Let’s make spending time with Christ our priority. Won’t you draw near to Jesus with me?
…For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep!
It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. Psalm 127:2 NASB