Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sleeping through the Storm

There we were, in the middle of nowhere on the side of a river.  Beautiful country, great water, and a perfect camping spot we carved out from nothing to hold our bodies for the night until we continued our venture down the river the next day.  There is little that can be asked for in moments like these, around a fire, with great friends and great food.

But we had something we could ask for, or at least something we wanted less of . . . RAIN!  It had rained since about an hour after we put in the river, everything was soaked.  Dinner was wet, clothes were wet, water was wet.  So very early after the sun set we headed to the shelter of our tent, hoping to sleep the night away and awaken to a brilliant sparkle on the water surrounded by a mist rising to the heavens! 

An aluminum canoe has it's advantages, though they are few.  One of them is NOT sound proof.  Throughout the night there was an incessant ting . . .Ting . . . TING as the rain pelted our shiny vehicle.  This along side of our lack of prepwork on the ground before we opened our tent leaving us with a rocky, uneven ground to sleep on left us with no sleep. 

Well, most of us!  There was one who if he had been Dorothy in the twister, well that story would have been slept through.  Late in the night when he awoke to us talking about what to do between now and daybreak his response was simple -SLEEP!

In Jonah there is a terrible storm, so bad the sailors are tossing everything over, fearful of death, and then there is Jonah, in 1:5 sound asleep in the belly of the ship (yes, I did that on purpose.)  How was he sleeping through this?  He did not have the confidence that Jesus had when he slept through the storm (Matthew 8:24.)

Perhaps, learning later in the book of Jonah, it was that he would rather die than see his God-given mission carried out, but even then, it is difficult to sleep in conditions that would make the greatest of seaman revisit his breakfast.

I suspect Jonah was exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally from trying to escape a God he knew he could not and direly needed rest and escape.  Ever heard of Unisom, Sweet Slumber, Tylenol PM?  There was certainly some equivalent.  The word used to describe Jonah's sleep was the same as described Adam's in the garden, a deep, anasthesia type sleep.  I'm not saying for sure Jonah drugged himself to escape what he was doing, I'm just curious.

Psalm 4:8 and 127:2 talk of sleep being a gift and resting in Christ, and yet there are numerous products that we need to make us sleep, and then to wake us up.  Could there be a correlation?   Are we willing to look if there is?  

How did you sleep last night?


  1. sleeping better day after day...dont want to end up in the belly of a whale...smiles.

  2. Had sweet dreams of coming to lynchburg to see you three. Love you.