Sleep is so incredibly important to me.
I started a new job last Monday and I found myself going to bed on time (by 9:30pm) so that I could wake up at 5:30am, ready to exercise, have devotional time, and eat breakfast before driving to work. That plan was going so well… until I kept waking up tired. When I spoke to Seth Rogan (remember, that’s what I call my therapist), he said that maybe my mind was not turning off at night because I was in a new role and, while my body had adjusted, my mind was still getting used to the newness. I find it ironically hilarious that about eight hours after we had that conversation, I was awakened out of my sleep by a horrible dream/vision.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, my dreams are wild. While I don’t remember the details of this particular dream, I do remember being semi-awake and seeing through one eye what looked like the business-end of a gun. In my half-awake/half-asleep state, I saw this image and silently cried out, “I love You, Lord” a few times. I wanted to use my voice, but my cords made no sounds in that midnight hour. I was terrified! In that moment, everything that I had previously been thinking became a literal dream as my mind grappled to understand why someone was standing over me with a gun pointed at me. I knew I was going to die- of that, there was no doubt. Few people see the barrel of a gun pointed in their face and live to tell about it. I didn’t know why this was happening, but I prayed that my mother would not have to make the discovery of my lifeless body. In those seconds in my bed, this is what I thought as I hesitantly looked through my opened right eye.
After I silently cried to God, I heard Him tell me to open BOTH of my eyes. Once I did that, I noticed that what I thought in the dark of the night was a gun, was actually my curtains/drapes. They scrunch up at the end of the window and I combined with my wild dream, I had mistaken them for a gun. WHEW! I decided to wake up fully at that time. I am very hard-headed and I know God speaks to me better in the midnight hours when I can’t be distracted by others so I figured He just needed me to be awake. At 1:45am on Wednesday morning, God poured the remainder of the sermon that I delivered yesterday into my heart. He sent me to my bedside Bible and various online Biblical tools so that I could accurately write the words that He had prepared for me. I opened my Spotify player and played one song as I wrote and cried my way through the morning. And, boy, did I cry! With every stroke of my keyboard, tears flowed from my heart and eyes. I promise I didn’t want the sermon to be gloomy, but I felt an inexplicable burden on my heart to preach that message. And after I had finished, I realized that that had been the true reason why my sleep had been restless in recent nights because once I was finished, I welcomed sleep like a familiar lover.
My message for you…
Let’s go back to that one part, you know, the part where I opened both of my eyes and saw the truth. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, God made another thing abundantly clear: we are not seeing the world with both of our eyes open. The divisiveness of this world, especially this country, proves that we are either seeing the world from the open eye of humanity or the open eye of God, but seldom see it with both eyes open. Because we are only half-viewing the world, we miss the blessing that God offers in the other half. By only seeing the humanity of this world, we miss the beauty of God and His unyielding love, grace, and mercy. Conversely, by only seeing God (specifically, the laws of the Old Testament), we miss the love that He has for humanity and how He stopped at no end to save it (i.e. the New Testament).
Just as the Bible would be incomplete if we only had one testament versus both testaments, we are incomplete and our reality is distorted when we only see the world through one eye. Instead of being satisfied with the vision that we see through one eye, we must pray to God for Him to show us the complete beauty that is available when we see the world with both eyes opened.