Matthew 26: 36-46
Sleeping through the alarm!
For some of us our faith can be like our smoke detector or fire alarm: It’s there to save us in an emergency, but for most of the time we don’t feel any need for it.
I had an annoying reminder that it is an ever presence in our home over the weekend. The alarm, that is, not my faith! It started beeping in the middle of the night when I was trying to sleep.
I am happy for the alarm to be there for the emergency, but I really don’t need a reminder in the middle of the night. It is like faith because we want God in the emergency, but not disturbing us at other times.
I tried to ignore the occasional beep, but it wouldn’t let me sleep. So I got up in the middle of the night to try and put it right. Step ladders had to be found. Then it was impossible to read the instructions because no-one realised that white print on a white background is difficult to distinguish in the best of light. I manage to find instructions that then require searching for a screwdriver and finally the cover is removed. Then I realised we don’t have the right battery so I pull the old one out to silence the alarm for the night.
It wasn’t a priority in the morning and I’m in no hurry to replace the battery if it’s going to disturb for for no reason again. That’s when I realised that we do the same with God. Disconnect unless there is an emergency. It is important to be protected though and God is the best ‘trouble detector’ we can have. As I tried to settle down to sleep without the beep, I was kept awake by a few random thoughts including some words: “I’m here to protect you, so never neglect me. Don’t let faith sleep when she is the great guard of your life!”
We should not forget that our ’trouble detector’ needs looking after to be able to look after us and we can’t blame God if we aren’t connected to our alarm when life is threatened. I am not suggesting that you start talking to your smoke detector, but my middle of the night experience does warn me not to wait for the emergency before listening, or even speaking, to God. Our ’trouble detector’ is inside us and God helps us be aware of what is happening before the alarm is needed, but if we don’t connect we won’t be aware.
The beep of my detector was just a reminder to stay fully connected, but I also wonder whether we hear the warning sign when it sounds or ignore it as our neighbours alarm! Our trouble detector is getting louder and louder because we ignore the warning signs. God has to speak through a raging storm because we won’t be still and listen on the calm waters; God speaks through a scorching sun because we don’t walk with him in the cool breeze; God speaks through a rip roaring wind because we don’t listen to the rustle in the trees and God has to speak through ferocious floods because we don’t understand the living waters lapping against the river bank.
As strange as it may seem I must love my “trouble detector” with all my heart, body, mind and soul at all times and not just believe I can switch on for an emergency. The alarm has been ringing because the world is facing an emergency and God has turned the volume up, but I’m sure we still think it’s our neighbours house being burgled. Not our concern, is it? God is having to convince us differently through raging storm, scoring sun, roaring wind and ferocious flood.
I hope you are connected to your “trouble detector” so are preparing for the emergency rather than waiting for it to happen! Don’t sleep through the alarm, but listen to your ’trouble detector’ and you will know the time to rise and go before trouble arrives!
God Bless, Richard