I have to confess I am a night owl; I believe mornings are made for sleeping in. This forced stay-at-home order has been both good and bad. The bad part is not going anywhere and having my whole life placed on hold. The good parts are endless days of staying up late, with wonderful blissful napping till late in the day. Even with a full house that comprises my Mother, Mother-in-law, two teenagers, and a husband I am blessed to snooze on. Not only do I enjoy staying under the blanket’s hours into the morning, I enjoy a peaceful, restful uninterrupted slumber throughout the night.
But surprisingly, not Saturday nights. On those nights, my sleep is miserable, I feel like a small boat in a hurricane, tossed by the waves and smashed on the rocks. And I am not alone. My husband who sleeps like a baby, (not one that needs fed every two hours) can’t seem to stay still either. This is not a singular situation just in the Pastor’s home, because many of my friends complain about the same phenomenon when we get together on Sundays. What do we owe to our Saturday night insomnia, why not Wednesdays or Fridays? Could it be we are so excited about gathering together the next day, we just can’t turn off our minds. Another key factor for my husband and my sleeplessness might be our new Drive-in-Church service. It’s very different from regular Sunday worship, so it’s normal to get anxious about the upcoming days events. Add in the pressure from outside forces that would like to see all church services closed down, and it’s no wonder we can’t sleep.
The truth is we have more to worry us than politicians with an agenda, faulty audio equipment and inclement weather. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”. He is our real enemy. It’s his desire to upset us, rob our rest and do whatever he can to keep us from serving God. The Devil plays right into our fears and it is up to us to not give in. On many nights at 3 am I am almost convinced that I will be too weary for church the next day. And as the hours pass Satan ups the ante, as even the Pastor isn’t immune to his cunning ways. But what he didn’t count on was our commitment to Jesus. Maybe you have shared in our nighttime struggles, maybe you have even fallen for his lies. Your alarm clock goes off, and you roll over. In your head you say just this one Sunday, but the same thing happens for the next few Sundays, and a pattern is born. The Devil has won. He knows what Luke said in chapter 6:5 that “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath” and he will do whatever he can to separate us from Jesus on the Sabbath.
Here is the good news, and right about now we all could use some good new! James 4:7 tells us just what we need to do when in dark hours of night as the Devil is playing his tricks, we need to “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” What a blessing, what a comfort. Now that advice sounds easy, but I know firsthand that it is hard. I have attended church many Sundays with only a few hours rest, but the joy I have received from being in the Lords presence has more than outweighed the fatigue in my body.
You can’t resist the Devil alone, that’s why it is so important that even during this lock in we maintain a faithful adherence to worshiping as a group. Maybe your church can’t have a drive-in-service like we have, but perhaps they have an online message, whatever the case you need to attempt to keep fighting against the devil. Hebrews 10:25 reminds us “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” We desperately need to encourage one another. As my husband said in his message yesterday, if anyone had told him a few months ago that we would be worshiping outside the church in our cars by Easter he would have called them delusional, but here we are. These times are unprecedented, but our Lord has not been taken by surprise. He intends for us to be a family, as members of the body of Christ we are safest together. Even as we practice save distancing, we can share our worries and joys as we lift each other up! Besides there’s nothing more enjoyable than a nap on a Sunday afternoon.