Let's face it, life has a way of getting out of hand at times. If you've never had a week/month/year where you feel like you're barely hanging on, just wait, you will. Sometimes it's just a ridiculously full schedule, with WAY too much needing to be done. Other times, it's an unexpected crisis, like the death of a loved one, a massive expense, or an illness. No matter the cause, we all face times where we find ourselves ill equipped to cope with the situations we face. Fortunately, those of us who have a relationship with Jesus have a never failing solution in those types of times.
This past summer was one of those times for me. We hosted around 60 construction workers between May and September, had a team of 20 amazing students fly up to lead a kids ministry outreach, helped ship people and materials for Camp Nahshii, and maintained our weekly ministry schedule at Fort Yukon Assembly of God. The days off were few and far between, the hours were long, the work was hard, and everyone's spiritual fruit was tested. It was during this time that I began to notice a barometer for the peace of God in my life; how well I was sleeping.
When I would relax my level of personal prayer and worship, all of the stresses of everything that was going on came crashing in on me. The first indicator, for me, was that I would have very restless sleep. I wouldn't be able to fall asleep, I would wake up after too little sleep feeling like I was forgetting something, and the quality of sleep was poor and didn't seem to provide the rest my body needed. This, of course, led to a snowball effect because every day felt worse than the last. It was during these times that I noticed a connection between my devotional life and my physical wellbeing.
After taking time to refocus on Jesus and lay out everything before Him, His peace came immediately. The most noticeable, tangible affect this had on my was my ability to lay down and truly relax. When I went to bed at night, I felt His assurance that He is in control and that He is pleased with me. I would fall asleep quickly, my sleep would rejuvenate me, and I would awaken with energy and excitement for the next day, even when I only got a few hours of sleep.
Never underestimate or trivialize your spiritual life. It should supersede your fitness routine, your diet, your family life, and your work life. A healthy spiritual life will enhance every other area of your life and bring unmatched fullness and joy into your life. Until you learn to rest in God's presence, we will never truly know peace.
- Pastor Jeremiah