A few days ago, I looked over at my daughter while she was playing and I could see that she was obviously exhausted. Her eyes were reddening…she was rubbing her face…and she wanted to cuddle (which rarely happens now that she’s a toddler). So, I picked up Naomi and wrapped her in a blanket and started my trek up the steep steps to her bedroom upstairs. While I was holding her in the cradle position (which is obviously a difficult position to hold a 30 lb toddler), she wiggled with every ounce of strength. Didn’t she know that the cradle position clearly states “baby…it’s time to close your eyes and go to sleep”???
But, try as I might, as soon as I got half way up the stairs she started to cry because she knew all her efforts were in vain…I was going to put her to bed. She wiggled around and tried to protest the fact that it was nap time (even though she was working extremely hard to keep her eyes open). Naomi did not want to rest. She kept fighting the urge to sleep every time she started to doze off a little bit. Eventually, she gave in and “slept like a baby”…but it wasn’t without a struggle.
Why are babies and toddlers like that? Clearly their bodies need to sleep, but they fight the rest with every ounce of strength they have. Sleep is the best thing for them. It boosts their growing systems and restores their body. Sound sleep is one of the best re-chargers we can give to our tired bodies. Studies are now showing that improper sleep causes weight gain, lack of mental clarity and even depression. Any wise person knows that if they feel sleepy and have a chance to catch a catnap…they should go for it!!!
As I watched Naomi fighting so hard to avoid the precious sleep that she needed, I thought for a moment about the Lord and how He sees me. He cradles me in His arms as I fight against the very thing that I need more than anything. My stubborn will works against the love and care that He so dearly wants to provide for me. I don’t always understand it to be the best thing for me…so I fight. I wiggle out and protest the care while the Lord lovingly rocks me and whispers “trust me…it’s time for you to rest”.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)