My greatest battle of every day takes place in the first fifteen minutes. It takes place even before I wake up. In fact, that is the battle. I seem to have a defective on/off switch. I struggle to fall asleep and I struggle to wake up. I tell myself it is genetic. My mother takes sleeping tablets to get to sleep and doesn’t get up until after eleven in the morning. I refuse to take sleeping tablets.
When I was still working, I couldn’t wait to retire so I didn’t have to wake up at 6am every morning. Do you know what I have since found out? It is just as difficult to wake up at 7am as it is at 6am. I still take at least fifteen minutes to actually wake up. Coffee helps.
What would a good soldier do if he knew he would face a battle as soon as he woke up? He’d sleep with his weapon right next to his bed and it would be in his hand even before he was properly awake.
My weapon is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” (Ephesians 6:17b ESV.) I don’t mean to suggest that I should sleep with my Bible under my pillow and bash myself awake with it, or even that I should grab my Bible and start reading the minute the first trickle of consciousness hits me. I am too fast asleep to even open my eyes, let alone comprehend letters and words! But imagine if I could get a verse of scripture into my mind first thing in the morning!
Other people face different battles every day. It might be a battle of depression or a short temper. It might be the same impatience we always feel when the children are nagging or the boss is yelling again. Regardless of the battle, wouldn’t it be an advantage to have a weapon at hand?
Of course, scripture doesn’t just pop into our minds. It has to be put there by diligent reading and meditating during times when we are not actively engaged in battle. Then, when we need our sword, it should be clean, sharp and ready at hand.
Psalm 119:11 says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you,”
So tonight I am going to try to get my sword ready before I go to sleep. Let’s hope I can find it in my foggy state tomorrow morning.
Your word is a lamp to my feet, Lord, and a light to my path. May my first thought tomorrow morning be of You. Please bring to my recall an apt verse of scripture. Amen.