“When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.” Genesis 22:9
Somnabulism is a technical term for sleep walking. Sleepwalkers arise during a certain stage of sleep. In a state of low consciousness, they perform activities usually accomplished while fully awake. They can cook, clean, drive, and perform various functions they have no recollection of after waking up. Their eyes may be open and they may appear to know what they are doing. However, upon waking they have little or no recall of what they accomplished while sleeping.
I’ve never physically done any sleep walking, but spiritually I have done this numerous times. Life has thrown me some curve balls. I’ve been hit with some difficult and painful experiences. I’ve wrestled with them AND with God over them. I’ve cried, prayed, and exhausted myself trying to fix my situations. When all efforts have failed, I generally find myself at the throne of grace. At this sacred place, I surrender all. I drop what hit me and place it on the altar of sacrifice. At times I walk away in peace, knowing my Lord will do something far greater than I can think or imagine with my “life interruption.” In full disclosure, I admit there are times I walk away in fear. What if God doesn’t fix or change things to my liking? What if the painful thing escalates my pain to an even greater level, even though He’s in control?
If I refuse to surrender and try to remold, peel off, or cosmetically fix my problem, it doesn’t go away. Often I fret and stew and run from friend to friend, begging for answers, prayer, and sympathy. If I do so while still holding onto my pain I only experience a temporary peace. There is nothing wrong with getting help, prayer, or advice, as long as these measures don’t replace heading to the altar of grace. Dropping our dilemmas and surrendering our all to God is a huge leap of faith. Leaving what we deposit there is another giant step.
Do we ever look down into our hands only to find them clutching onto what we had once laid on the altar? Did we sleepwalk and go get it back?
I have been an “Indian Giver” before. I’ve handed God my problem and taken it back. Either consciously or subconsciously I tried to regain control of what I had previously released. Then the weighty load returned. Did I do this in my sleep? No. I chose at some point to trust in my frail human reasoning rather than in an Almighty God. If His grace is sufficient (and it is!) then I must lay everything on the altar and not make a return trip. This is the walk which delivers true, uninterrupted rest.
Dawn Mooring is an international speaker, teacher, and author. She has been published in THE UPPER ROOM and christiandevotions.us. Dawn has counseling certification through Grace Ministries International and in women’s ministry though American Association of Christian Counselors. Her passion is to know God and His Word. For more info on Dawn check out www.dawnmooring.com and dawnmooring.blogspot.com.