(Psalm) Daniel 3:82-87
Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy. (Luke 21:34)
What’s your go-to remedy for drowsiness? Perhaps you set aside obligations and take a power nap so that you have more energy to devote to the task when you wake up. Maybe you drink extra coffee and keep plugging away or take a jog around the block. Perhaps you take a look at what made you drowsy in the first place. You may end up adjusting your schedule so that you can sleep longer at night, seeing if you might be able to delegate some of the more monotonous aspects of your work.
These are all viable, logical solutions, and they may be effective in dealing with everyday drowsiness. But spiritual drowsiness calls for something more than human logic. To help illustrate this point, Scripture uses images like water to describe God’s power to energize and nourish us: “The angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1).
Many factors can contribute to spiritual drowsiness, and Jesus suggests two that are polar opposites to each other. One is “carousing,” a self-indulgence that deafens us to God’s call to put off sin and put on the new life of Christ. The other is “the anxieties of daily life” (Luke 21:34). This has to do with our tendency to feel our responsibilities too intensely and thus get weighed down by the worries that come with them. As noble as this may sound, it can make us forget that all we have and all we are come to us as precious gifts from our heavenly Father.
So what’s the answer? Drink deeply of the river of life. If you are going to expend extra energy to fight off drowsiness, do it in prayer. Push through any sense of monotony that has crept into your prayer life. Change your routine. Instead of sitting and meditating, stand up and sing. Recite the creed over and over until you feel the words coming alive. Devote one prayer time a week to doing nothing but listing God’s attributes and praising him for them, one by one. Do anything that will propel you into the presence of the Lord, and let him refresh you and renew your energy.
“Holy Spirit, when I am weary, refresh me in your life-giving stream.”~WAU