I am sleeping again!! Thank you God!!

I want you all to know, that I have been sleeping at night again.  I am falling to sleep a little later, and waking up a little later, but I am sleeping!!

Again, I am not sure why I wasn’t sleeping, and now I am not sure why I am, except for the fact, that some of you were praying for me, and for that I thank you!!

During these times of stress, sickness and the unknown, many of us are experiencing high levels of anxiety for a variety of reasons.  I think sharing those feelings with each other, can really help, as we pray for each other and communicate our concern for each other. 

This ability we have to show the love of God to each other was made clearer to me when I was in my twenties.   I was single and on staff with Cru and had taken a group of students down to Florida to go to a conference over Spring Break.

The speaker was talking about the love of God.  He said that he didn’t think very many people actually experienced God’s love, were filled up with God’s love, and loved others with God’s love.  He said, the world would be a different place, if people really experienced the love of God.

I felt as if the speaker was talking directly to me.  Here I was, on staff with Cru, a Christian organization, talking to others about God’s love, but feeling so empty on the inside.  I was not experiencing God’s love.

I went out onto the balcony of the hotel room, (one I was sharing with 3 women who were at the conference, but were strangers to me, as they were from another college campus).  The room was empty, and I felt the freedom to pour out all my thoughts and feelings to the Lord.

I told Him that I felt empty on the inside, that I felt as if there was this huge hole inside of me that only He could fill, and I desperately wanted to experience His love.  I was crying and crying and crying.   Then I went into the room, splashed cold water on my face, and prepared to go on with my day.

Not too long after this, my roommates came in the room.  One of them came to me and asked to give me a hug.  She said, “ when I was coming up here, Jesus asked me to give you a hug and to tell you, that He lives in me, and when I hug you to tell you, He is really hugging you and that He loves you.”

My tears started to flow again…  Jesus heard my prayer, and He had sent another person—someone who was part of His Body, to tell me that He loved me. That void within me started to be filled.

When my friend Becky Crain died, God showed me His love through the Body of Christ, as they came to help her and her family in their time of need.

When Sean, our son died, Rich and I were comforted by God’s love, which was expressed through the Body of Believers as they came to help us and our family in our time of need.

The speaker, all those years ago, was right—the world would be a different place if we – the Body of Christ—experienced His love and shared that love with others.

Perhaps this is the time we can do just that….  When I came to you all, and told you that I was having problems sleeping, you prayed, God answered those prayers.

Perhaps it is as simple as letting each other know what we need prayers for….  Perhaps it is as simple as giving a hug, (to those we are not social distancing from), or responding to a financial need, or being available to give comfort and sending expressions of love through cards and phone calls.  

God wants us to know He loves us, and many times, He wants us—His body—to be His arms, to give those hugs, and His mouth, to say, “I love you”, and His feet—to run to help. 

Being loved by the eternal God is an amazing thing, and it is cyclical—I honestly think that  as we experience God’s love, we love each other,  and as we love each other we experience God’s love, and on, and on, it goes, and where it stops—well– it never stops!

So Be Encouraged!!