Proverbs 3: 23-26
Years ago, I was diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea and assigned a mouth appliance to wear at night. I recently underwent another sleep study that yielded the same diagnosis and recommended an updated mouth appliance.
However, the sleep study results gave me a start, showing that I stop breathing 28 times per hour during sleep. 28??? Per hour??? That's about 200 times per night!
After I received the results, I almost found it hard to fall asleep that night. I wondered about the dice roll of 200 nightly breathing episodes. Would there be a situation -- tonight -- where I stopped breathing and didn't resume? Am I not the same man who, when asked on a milestone birthday how I had lived so long, joked, "I kept breathing!"
Fretting about the sleep study revelation was no way to rest, and I knew I had to put fear out of my mind. No, I had to do more than that. I had to put my life in God's hands, where in reality, it always is.
Here is what I like about the sleep study: It reminded me that life is precious, fragile, daily, and never guaranteed.
A friend ends his Facebook posts this way: "Every day is a gift. Every moment matters."
This is useful to remember in our 7-day practical faith journey. Every day is a gift. We forget this because each day simply arrives when we awaken. But we never know how many we have left. Perhaps not even a full day today.
Awareness of such a hand-to-mouth spiritual existence reminds us of God's care and constant presence. Proverbs 3: 23-26 says that when we attain wisdom, and we understand more about God, the following happens:
Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.
That's what I needed to hear: "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." And, "the Lord will be at your side." After my initial fear following the sleep study, I did fall asleep easily and slept soundly and maybe even sweetly. When I awoke, I had a renewed appreciation for the gift of the day ahead.
A guiding thought for how we practice our faith today: "Every day is a gift. Every moment matters." Let us take advantage of the moments we have, doing good and glorifying God in all that we do, celebrating His presence and His daily gift of life to us.
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