Every night, we look forward to sinking peacefully into sleep, drifting off with relief, unafraid and grateful, expecting to wake with refreshment and renewal. Sleep is a little death, and as we wake from it, we know a daily rising, a triumphant new life.
God made us to need sleep and He did it for a reason. In making daily dying and rising a necessary part of our lives, He teaches something about Himself: for every death, large and small, a waking follows.
Unconsciously, we let go of our life every night when we close our eyes in full expectation that we will open them again. Sleep rarely brings stress or rebellion--it relieves them, but the sleeping and waking pattern God established is harder to apply to other situations in which He also tells us to let go.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.--Galatians 5:24 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, and God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.--Ephesians 2:1,6
As we die daily in sleep, so are we to die daily to sin and, eventually, die physically. He has already established the pattern: a waking follows each one, a waking with Him.
As I lay myself down every night to a relieved sleep, confident that I will wake up in the morning renewed, so must I lay down a used-up sinful life to be reborn in Christ and look forward to a final physical death from which I will finally wake up where the sun never sets.
Photo courtesy of Kristen W, Writers' Alley