After re-reading Proverbs 3:24, I had some insight come to me tonight.
“If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
I’ve always regarded this verse to refer to the Lord blessing us with good sleep, which of course He has the power to do. But after deeper thought, I’ve been refreshed with a new focus of surrender in everyday life.
In recent struggles to not stress-eat/over-eat or focus on food to avoid life’s anxieties, God’s been strengthening me with more wisdom to surrender my gluttonous heart’s desires.
Months ago, He physically allowed my body and digestive system to become so inflamed to the point of hospitalization, following this journey of extreme stomach sensitivities. Days leading up to that painful day when I needed medical attention, I vividly recall God disrupting my thoughts with a booming warning, “You’re lying to yourself.” Because of course I always regarded myself as healthy, I ate plenty of seemingly healthy food, was even passionate about nutrition. I desperately wondered and asked what it could be that I was lying to myself about!
It took all this for God to teach me I was greatly neglecting my physical health but most importantly, the health of my relationship with Him as I turned to food in my times of need more than Him. Resultantly becoming this selfish person opposite of who I want to be, constantly seeking what I could eat next instead of seeking who I can serve better.
The fastest way to come to ruin is to ignore God’s open arms of refuge during times of trial, expressing to Him that it’s not good enough for you, and to temporarily fill yourself with worldly idols instead.
I could reference hundreds of passages that speak on this lesson but for whatever reason, the beautiful simplicity of the Proverbs verse (above) specifically struck me today. The way this verse is worded reveals this focus on surrender.
We routinely go to sleep and physically lie down of course, but this begins with if you lie down, you will not be afraid. Emphasizing our freedom to choose what/who we worship, and then promising no more torment or fear on the matter.
Do you ever fear being in the presence of something you know you struggle against the temptation of, being in the face of your ‘greatest weakness’?
As soon as the feast of delicious food is served at the end of the night at work, when it’s so easy to overindulge to escape from stress of the job, often I’ve become fearful.
Regularly they bring us party-size platters of the decadent desserts that world-travelers claim to be best on the face of the Earth, for us to eat as much as our heart desires. I feared and doubted my willpower as I struggled to overcome a bad sugar addiction, even with the doctor’s strong instruction that my body cannot consume any more sugar.
Isn’t it easy to fear the temptation you scarce trust yourself with?
As much as I feel I can’t trust myself in the midst of any temptation, I know I can trust the Lord. With anything else, in remembering His greatness, I can forget any fear. Acknowledge our Father is bigger than we know, in surrender and laying down our desires in return for His peace.
The verse continues, “When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Not only will we no longer be fearful by surrendering, but we get to experience such sweet relief, rest, and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).
Thank you, Father God for a glimpse of your wisdom in surrender. Thank you for establishing strength I could never obtain on my own. Jesus you are always faithful and always enough. In you I place my trust and confidence as I lay down my fears and desires.
I hope and pray this encourages anyone today as it does for me.