Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Isn't it funny how the devil seems to continue on and on with the same old tactics? There seems to be no newness in him. His war strategy in my life seems to be attack, attack, attack, using the same weapon over and over. After what seems likes hundreds of battles with the same predator that the devil sends my way, I can say I have learned to handle it and deal with it a lot better. When satan sent his troops marching in once again last week I believe I have held it together and stood my ground fairly well this time.
Now there has been an extended respite since the last attack. I have learned to enjoy peace in the middle of the war. When we use God-given time to heal and re-energize the next battle isn't nearly as hard to face.
God grants us little spaces of grace, time to catch our breath as we continue on. One of my favorite verses is
Ezra 9:8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
This space of grace I have been granted has indeed been Heaven sent and I feel I indeed do have the God-given power to face my enemy once again. The other night in the middle of it all I had the privilege to listen to a child pray. A three-year-old was given McDonald's Chicken Nuggets and told to pray over his food. He said, "Now I lay me down to sleep if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul, to take." He was reprimanded by the "adult" who is his caregiver. The child looked at the person and said, "That's the only one I know."
Of course, some of you might say McDonald's food does warrant that type of prayer, but that is beside the point. It broke my heart that this child knew nothing about prayer or about Jesus. More than that it broke my heart that an adult would use a child in this way to try to gain favor from those he knows to be Christians, to try to convince them he has "changed."
That night I lay down to sleep. I prayed to the Lord to take care of me throughout the night and give me peaceful sleep which hadn't come in several nights. And yes, I did ask if I should die before I wake that I might join Him in Heaven. I prayed for my enemy attacker that satan had sent. I prayed for the child who prayed, for his brother, and for his little sister that they may find peace in the middle of the chaotic life they are living. I prayed Jesus would protect them and help them to find Him that they may do great and mighty things for Him as they grow up.
I also again prayed for another little space of grace to come soon but asked God to show me what He would have me to do for this person in the middle of this war. It is hard to love your enemy and pray for those who despitefully use and persecute you, but it is what we are called to do.
Lord, help me to be who I am supposed to be to this person. Grant grace to this person. Let him come to know you in a very real way. Give me more faith to believe in the things I cannot see. Let him really be changed forever by your love and mercy.