The Monday Memo from John Stanko – 716 – A Deep Sleep
I thought this was really good today so, I thought it best to share it! Hope you agree?
“I visited a church this morning and the pastor preached an excellent word on Jonah. I was going to write about something else this week, but I had another insight into the concept of rest as he was speaking – even though that was not the focus of his message. I have also written in the past about what is called the Jonah Complex, which you can read on your own if you so desire. This entry will focus on another aspect of Jonah’s story – that he was asleep when the storm hit his escape ship:
“Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep” (Jonah 1:4-5).
Jonah was trying to use rest or a deep sleep as a means to hide from the Lord and the consequences of fleeing his purpose!
Perhaps Jonah thought if he could sleep, he would not be conscious to sense any remorse or guilt over his rebellion. Jonah was so out of it that the captain of the ship had to awaken him and asked incredulously, “How can you sleep?” Perhaps Jesus, the captain of your ship, is asking you the same question:
- How can you sleep when you don’t know how many more days you have to fulfill your purpose?
- How can you sleep when the God of the universe has given you an assignment only you can do?
- How can you sleep when there are so many depending on you to fulfill your purpose?
- How can you sleep when the world is dying and you have life?
- How can you sleep when you have known for some time that God has given you something to do?
You can sleep or retreat into rest if you are scared or if you are in rebellion, like Jonah was. You can try to play the rest “trump card,” seeing if God will exempt you from service, but I doubt it will work. Contrast the idea of rest with Paul’s testimony of what it took for him to fulfill his purpose:
“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love” (2 Corinthians 6:4-5).
Dear friend, is there a storm brewing around you and you are in a deep sleep? Is the Captain asking you how you can sleep at a time like this? Are you fatigued not from action, but from inaction, missing the joy and energy of God to propel you through whatever you are assigned to do? The good news is that God isn’t angry and He is willing to get you where you need to be, just like Jonah in the belly of the fish, once you throw yourself into the storm, just like Jonah, and trust God. I encourage you to read Jonah’s story again in chapters one and two and then awaken from your place of rest to a place of action. I promise you God will give you all the rest you need, but first you have to earn it and you cannot use that rest as an escape. Have a blessed week”. John Stanko
[PRAYER ] GOD MY FATHER, KNG AND CREATOR. YOU HAVE DONE SO MUCH FOR ME AND INVESTED SO MUCH IN TO MY LIFE. YOU HAVE PLANTED ETERNITY IN MY HEART AND AS OUR HEAVENY GARDENER YOU EXPECT SOME RETURNS, A BOUNTIFUL YEILD, A HUGE HARVEST FOR WHAT YOU HAVE PLANTED! I AGREE WITH THAT LORD AND I WANT TO BE FRUITFUL FOR YOU AND THE KINGDOM. SHOW ME THEREFORE WHAT TO DO. WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE? O GOD WHAT’S IN MY HAND? MY GUITAR AND MICROPHONE! THE TOOLS OF MY TRADE AND THE PEN OF A READY WRITER. USE ME O GOD FOR YOUR PURPOSES. I ASK THIS FOR JESUS AND FOR ALL HE DID FOR ME. AMEN