Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Devotional by Laura Thomas: Slumber and your wake-up call

Eyes Wide Open
A devotional written by Laura Thomas

“Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.” ~Acts 20:9 (NIV)

Can you imagine? First, falling asleep in a very public place. Secondly, literally tumbling backward through an open window. Thirdly, landing dead on the ground? Poor Eutychus. Just a young guy trying to catch some z’s.

The apostle Paul was in the midst of preaching a lengthy sermon (like hours upon hours), and we’re not told if Eutychus had been dragged to the service by his parents, or if he was there to eagerly glean some truth. But the fact is, he stayed awake as long as he could but by midnight enough was enough. And really who could blame him? (Note to self: Never sit in an open window when sleepy!)

Have you ever unintentionally fallen into that blissful state of slumber whilst in public? You try desperately to keep your eyes wide open, but your eyelids are like lead. Why is it so hard to stay awake sometimes? Especially in our Christian walk. Like when we try to pray or attempt to stay focused on the message being preached, or reach a place where our corporate worship is ablaze and genuine. When we are at home and have the best intentions to follow a Bible devotion plan, or journal our thoughts, or get through a challenging book. Why is it so much easier to take a nap?

Spiritual sleeping is a dangerous pastime, and we do it well. In the comfy western world, we Christians are in dire need of some shaking. It’s a scary thing to even write because we rather like our non-confrontational, peaceful, easy-going faith. But while our eyes are closed WE ARE MISSING OUT ON SO MUCH.

Matthew Henry’s commentary suggests we should do “what we can to prevent our being sleepy, not compose ourselves to sleep, but get our hearts affected with the word we hear to such a degree as may drive sleep far enough.”

“…get our hearts affected with the word…”

To be affected with the Word of God, we need to be physically and spiritually awake. Eyes wide open. There has to be a hunger, a drive, a desire to follow where God leads, to obey His command, to seek His face. The Bible isn’t an optional extra for our faith-walk—it isn’t a reference book to consult whenever the need arises. It’s our daily bread. Our sustenance. And when we are truly IN the Word, we won’t be caught napping on a windowsill.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” ~Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

Our story with young Eutychus has a happy ending (as long as you are good with being remembered as the guy who fell asleep while Paul was preaching, back-flipped through a third-story window, and died). I’m sure there was a ruckus when the packed household of believers realized what had occurred, but Paul was on the case immediately. By God’s grace, a miracle was performed when Paul “fell on the dead body and embraced it” (verse 10), bringing the boy back to life. Don’t you just love it when God uses even the most unfortunate of events to bring glory to Himself? What a crazy miracle!

Friend, do you need a wake-up call? I know I do. Regularly. The Almighty doesn’t need me to be awake with eyes wide open in order for His perfect plan to evolve. He has the power and authority to do anything He pleases with whomever He chooses. But I want my heart to be affected with the Word and my eyes wide open to what God has in store. How about you?

Author Bio: 

Laura is a published Christian author with a heart for inspiring and encouraging readers of all ages. 

She is truly multi-genre—with a published Christian teen fiction trilogy, marriage book, children’s stories, devotionals for Union Gospel Press, musings on her blog, and she now has a literary agent representing her Christian romantic suspense novel.

Laura is English and Canadian, married to her high school sweetheart, mom of three, passionate about faith and family…and chocolate!

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