More times than I can count I have fallen asleep with my Bible laid open on my chest. If I’m honest, I’ll tell you it started as an accident, the result of going to bed exhausted from long days with little ones, a job and late nights writing. I would open the Bible, wanting to read before closing my eyes, but would quickly doze off. At some point I would wake up in the night, lay the Bible on my bedside table and turn out my lamp.
But one night, while going through a difficult season, I dozed off reading scripture and when I woke up I didn’t move the Bible. I remember closing it, starting to set it on the table beside me but then suddenly feeling the need to bring it back. So I placed it back on my chest and turned out the lamp.
That night stirred something in me, something that maybe isn’t taught in Sunday school or Christian counseling sessions but for me it works, it draws me close to God. You see when I have that Bible laid open on my chest it feels like every God breathed word is finding it’s way to my heart, to my soul. Every word of encouragement and strength, every story of God’s absolute love for me, every promise of hope and provision, all of it from beginning to end just seems to settle in to where I need it the most.
At times when life was heavy and my mind couldn’t stay fixed on the words on the page, I would lay the Bible across my chest and just breath. Nights when I wasn’t sure what the next day would bring, test results, looming surgeries, answers about the health of those I love, I would read scripture, talk to God then place the Bible under my pillow and just close my eyes.
Maybe this all sounds crazy, weird, out there. Maybe it is. But I’m one to take my Bible everywhere. When I go to work, it’s right there with me. When I make a trip, it’s in the seat beside me in the car. That’s because there is comfort in God’s word, guidance in the scriptures, answers to everyday questions and it’s the first place I turn in the morning and the last place I turn at night.
In dealing with a troubling situation lately I have found myself trying to communicate with God and instead just sitting and staring in to space. I was feeling bad about this and wondering why I was struggling, so I turned to a devotion written by Billy Graham for some insight. In the devotion Graham talked about those seasons, that we all experience, where we just don’t have the words but we desperately need to talk to God. He shared how in that time it’s ok to just sit and be in the presence of the Lord because in that moment your posture, your presence is the prayer. You become the prayer! Wow!
You see for me, holding that Bible on my chest while I sleep or tucking it safely under my pillow just makes me feel the presence of God in my life. It’s almost like I’m clinging to his words, holding fast to his promises even when I’m asleep. Keep in mind this is not a replacement for reading the scriptures and praying! You can’t actually “soak” up God’s word, you’ve got to do the work, have a relationship with him!
As you fall asleep tonight, remember that God sees you and loves you, he delights in your ways! Maybe if you can’t relax or life’s craziness is getting the best of you, you can open God’s word and read of his promises for you, be reminded that he holds you securely in his hands. Talk to God, share your heart with him. Then maybe, if you want to, lay his word beside you or across your chest and just fall asleep trusting him.
Sleep well friends!