Falling Asleep


It had been a stressful trip. As usual, when we traveled the three hundred miles from Dawson City to Whitehorse, Yukon, we had a long list of needs and wants, both for ourselves and for friends. The ‘city’ part of the name, you see, was a bit of a misnomer back then, when Dawson’s population was less than five hundred and it could boast of only two small stores. An annual buying trip south was essential and this one had not been going particularly well.

I was stretched out on the bed in the small hotel room as my husband discussed what kind of vehicle we should buy and how we were going to handle the expense. I tried to listen. I really did. But it didn’t take long before his words seemed to drone and then I was, as a friend used to say, off in lullaby-loo-loo-land. My husband was not impressed, but he let me sleep and went car shopping on his own. It is to his credit that he did not buy anything until I’d woken up the next morning. In fact, he even brought me breakfast in bed!

Staying awake is sometimes difficult, especially in stressful circumstances. The disciples of Jesus discovered this the night their leader took them into a garden and asked them to stay awake and pray. The level of stress was high for all concerned. They were in a city where Jesus was a marked man; the authorities were out for his blood. Jesus himself knew the time had come when he would pay the ultimate sacrifice and give up his life. He needed support and prayer, but his followers fell asleep.

It is to his credit that Jesus did not turn away from his disciples. When it was all over, He went back to encourage them, to let them know that even though they were weak and afraid, He still loved them. He loved them so much He sent His Spirit to indwell and empower them – a Spirit that would not only keep them awake when they needed to be, but would help them perform miracles and reveal the identity of their Messiah to thousands.

It is comforting to know we have that kind of God. Though we fail Him, He does not abandon us. Though we sleep and fail to do what He asks of us, His love and grace never cease. When we turn to Him, He is always there, ready to forgive, ready to guide, ready to bless.

The recorded last words Jesus spoke to his followers on this earth are testament to that amazing love. He said – “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).

Marcia Lee Laycock [email protected]

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