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I Need a Nap!

On the closing night of our citywide crusade in
Rochester, New York, I went down front after the
service to greet people, sign Bibles, and just enjoy
a time of fellowship with our friends there.

As always, several children gathered around me
— we seem to have a special affection for each
other. The photographer who was covering the
crusade for us asked if I’d pose for a photo with his
two children. When he finished taking the shot,
one of the youngsters, a little boy, crawled up in my lap.

“I’m tired,” he said, “I need a nap.” Then he
nestled inside my arms, laid his head trustingly on
my shoulder, and started to go to sleep.

In a few minutes his dad came and took him
from me, but as I sat looking down at that
beautiful child resting in my arms, I remembered how
Jesus taught that we must receive the kingdom of
God in simple, childlike faith and trust… and rest
in Him.

The Lord invites us to come to Him when we are
tired and worn out and “take a nap,” secure in His
care. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest
(Matthew 11:28).

Why, then, are so many plodding along, worn
out and exhausted, loaded down with burdens
and care? For these people, life almost seems to be
an endurance contest, each day providing another
grim challenge.

Could it be because we haven’t really learned to
trust… or have gotten our eyes on the frailties of
men instead of the everlasting arms of the Lord?

A lesson in trust

When my brothers and I were quite young, Dad
sometimes would take us swimming in a
beautiful fresh water stream. There was a little
waterfall that dropped into a natural pool, and my
older brother would plunge over that waterfall and
splash into the water below.

It looked like such fun… but I was afraid to try it
myself. I was four years younger than my brother,
and when I climbed up above the falls, the jump
down took my breath — and my courage — away!
No amount of coaxing or wheedling by my brother
could convince me to try it.

Finally, my father went into the pool below and
looked up at me. “Jump down here, Rexella,” he
said. “I’ll catch you!” And he held out his arms.

Immediately I jumped into the waterfall, down
in and under the torrent, deep into the water
below. As I came up out of the deep, half laughing,
half crying, Dad’s strong arms caught me and
lifted me up.

After a few more jumps, I was ready to try it on
my own… and I was never afraid to go over the
waterfall again.

What made the difference? Trust! I knew my
father would take care of me and never allow me to
be injured. So if he had said to follow him through
fire, I would have put my hand in his and started walking!

How much more should we trust our Heavenly
Father? When the burdens and troubles of this life
are wearing us down, we should come into the
presence of God and say, “Lord, I need a nap.”
Then, casting all our care upon the One who
knows and understands all things, we can put our
heads upon the bosom of Christ and rest in Him.

Dare to trust God

But we can relax and rest only when we trust
God and turn loose of our load of care. It is possible
to come to Jesus and present our problems, then
go away just as burdened and weighted down as
when we came.

We sometimes think we’re the only ones who
understand just what’s at stake. We can’t turn
loose and fully trust the Lord or anybody else. So
we go away sorrowful, trying to worry our way through.

Perhaps you are carrying a heavy load today
that has you exhausted, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Dare to trust God.

He sees your concern for those loved ones.

He knows the financial needs you are facing.

He understands the anxiety and indecision that
has stolen your peace of mind and kept you awake
so many midnight hours.

What would happen if you really trusted the
Lord with all of your life? What if you threw
yourself into His arms and said, “I need a nap,” and let
Him take care of you? Would He let you fall, or
turn His back on you?

Of course not! He will not — cannot — fail. So
cast all your care upon Him for He careth for you
(see 1 Peter 5:7).

But we must trust Him, yield to Him, wait for
Him. How often do we get too impatient, even in
prayer? Do we kneel to pray, and instead of
allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us, blurt out our
frustration and tell God how we think He should
meet our need?

In the beautiful words of the poet —

He knows, He loves, He cares,

nothing this truth can dim.

God gives the very best to those

who leave the choice with Him.

The beautiful old gospel song, “What a Friend
We Have in Jesus,” reminds us of the help that is
ours when we come, trusting, into His presence.

“Oh, what peace we often forfeit,

Oh, what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God… in prayer.”

Trust God, my friend. Hear His invitation to
come to Him and find rest. Join me in looking up
into the wonderful face of Jesus and saying, “I’ve
come to You, Lord, because I need a nap!”

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