The older I get, the more I tend to get stuck in rituals. Since I am a devoted insomniac, I have found that employing a bedtime routine helps me to relax, leading to a better night’s sleep. Step one, I try to turn off technology as bedtime approaches, since research has found that staring at those bright screens delays the production of melatonin, which prepares our body for sleep. Speaking of melatonin, I usually take some over-the-counter supplements containing that sleepy-time ingredient as my bedtime approaches. Hot chamomile tea and soothing lavender oil help my brain figure out that its time to shut down. After curling up in bed, I spend a few moments in a good book, focusing on those tiny words and forcing my eyes to grow tired, at which time I click on the sound machine, listening to that steady rhythm of white noise. But the final phase of the evening regimen is the most vital.
“Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds.” No, I don’t break forth into audible song. Instead, I snuggle under those warm blankets and thank God that I have a bed. I thank Him for my home, for the fact that my stomach is full, and that all my needs for the day have been met. I think of the many homeless, abandoned souls roaming the streets in search of shelter, and but for God’s grace, that could be me. I’m almost embarrassed by how good God has been to me, and that makes my heart sing!
My mind sometimes reflects on a familiar Bible story, such as the tale of the notably wealthy rich man, bathed in a life of extravagant luxury, and Lazarus, the exceptionally unfortunate beggar “which was laid at his (the rich man’s) gate.” There he sat, dumped at the gate “desiring to be fed with…crumbs.” In the story that Jesus shares, both men die. The rich man was most likely honored at a magnificent funeral, while the poor man was either buried with other indigents at a potter’s field or tossed upon the dung heap of Gehenna. But those two diametrically opposed creations of God would be alive somewhere forever, Lazarus in “Abraham’s bosom,” as the rich man would lift up his eyes “in hell.”
It may be convenient to surmise that Lazarus was awarded Heaven because he was poor and the rich man assigned to Hell due to his wealth, but that would not be the truth. At some point of time in Lazarus’ life, he found his way to the Savior, he had a heart-to-heart encounter with Jesus, and although he had no physical riches, he was indeed a wealthy man. As I lie upon my bed listening to the brisk winds howl, I am so thankful for the provisions which have abounded in my life. But I am most thankful for that moment in time when I became a spiritual millionaire, that moment when I became His child.
Psalm 149:5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
Lord, You have been more than gracious to me. Thank You for the blessings that You have bestowed upon me, especially the gift of salvation. God is so good, he’s so good to me.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2345-63d7cc6689d7c' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2345&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2345-63d7cc6689d7c' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2345-63d7cc6689d7c' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>