Sunday, March 25, 2012

Awake O Sleeper

Proverbs 19:15:  "Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger."

I've been slowly reading through the Proverbs since August (yep, THAT slow!).  I want to really take in and process what each one is saying.  I want to get these truths into my heart, so I've been reading and journaling about almost every one of them.

Sometimes I really have to think on one of them to get the full effect.  This was one of those that caused me to stop and ponder the depths of the message.

How has laziness cast me into a deep sleep?  I know this doesn't happen in the literal sense, not for me anyway.  With 8 children aged 12 to infant, I don't get much sleep at all---and I don't think I've slept deeply since I was about 19 years old!

However, laziness has caused me to be "asleep" to some things that are going on around me.  It has caused me to be in denial about certain parts of my life that need attention.  Laziness keeps me from seeing things that need to be done and changes that need to be made.  These can be things as simple as household chores, or as important as correcting my children's behavior.  It is sometimes so much easier to just let the laundry pile up (either dirty in the basket or clean on the dresser) or let the kid's bad attitude go unchecked than it is to put the effort into fixing the problem.  I am ignoring the problem and I'm ignoring the future consequences that I know this laziness will bring.  What kind of example is this to my children and other people in my life over whom I have influence?  What kind of legacy am I leaving?

Pretty soon, my laziness turns into apathy.  I just don't care anymore.  I settle in my ways and am asleep to, and ignorant of, how much better life would be if I'd be proactive.

How will I suffer hunger from being idle?  To figure this one out, I need to think about what sorts of things I'm hungry for.  Here are a few big ones on my list:

*A more regular Bible study time
*A happy and peaceful attitude
*A healthy and fit body
*An organized home
*A more consistent homeschooling schedule

Every one of these things is not being accomplished in my life the way it could be because of idleness.  I become slothful and the apathy creeps in.  Often times, it's easier to stay in the place that I am than it is to step out and change.
However, God doesn’t want me in this place of idleness and apathy!   Instinctively, I know this---but this can be such a hard habit to break free from.   When I imagine what God says to me in this place, I remember Ephesians 5:14: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” 

Just a few verses before that, I’m encouraged to walk as a child of the light and to find out what is acceptable to the Lord (v. 8-10).  How else can I do this but to dig deep into His word and to spend time in prayer, calling on Him for help?

Looking back to my list of things I’m hungry for:  we’ve all been taught that God wants us to spend time in His word.  We know that he desires for us to have joy and peace in our life.  But, did you know that it matters to God whether or not my home is organized and my homeschool runs smoothly and my body is healthy and fit?  He knows the calm and contentedness that these things will bring to my life.  God really does care about these things that we often think he’s too busy to deal with!

Ephesians gives us some practical steps to start and continue walking as children of the light.  Verse 16 encourages us to “be wise and redeem the time.”  I love what Matthew Henry says in his Commentary about this phrase.  I know this is a little long but stick with me---it’s good stuff:

redeeming the time (v. 16), literally, buying the opportunity. It is a metaphor taken from merchants and traders who diligently observe and improve the seasons for merchandise and trade. It is a great part of Christian wisdom to redeem the time. Good Christians must be good husbands of their time, and take care to improve it to the best of purposes, by watching against temptations, by doing good while it is in the power of their hands, and by filling it up with proper employment—one special preservative from sin. They should make the best use they can of the present seasons of grace. Our time is a talent given us by God for some good end, and it is misspent and lost when it is not employed according to his design. If we have lost our time heretofore, we must endeavour to redeem it by doubling our diligence in doing our duty for the future.”

How encouraging is that!  Our time is a talent given us by God.  What a great measuring stick by which to check ourselves and evaluate our days.  In another part of this section of commentary, Henry talks about the Christians who would “stir up themselves to their duty.”  I don’t know about you, but this encouragement makes me want to get up and buzz around this house, cleaning and singing and hugging my children! It motivates me and makes me want to kick laziness and apathy out the door!

It’s true that “the days are evil” as verse 5:16 goes on to say---they’re also short and time gets away from us faster than we’d like.  As Henry encourages, let’s all “endeavour to redeem it by doubling our diligence in doing our duty for the future.”  Think of the amazing legacies we could leave!

This post was featured in Issue #55 of The Christian Home magazine.

Linking with:  
L.A.C.E.  Wednesdays
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home


  1. Wow.. I really like this one. I didn't think of it like that, but it makes total sense!!! I know that I could be better with my time even with 3 kiddos running around and little sleep!!!

  2. Thank you for posting this. I needed it. :)

  3. Great post...I am afraid I have become ideal. Our sweet sixth child was stillborn 1-24-12 and I have had a hard time getting back to my routine. Thanks for the reminder how important it is. You have a beautiful family I am stopping by from a wise woman's link up.


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Mrs. Sarah Coller

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