Monday, 1 November 2010

Even When I Sleep

Lucy Wall from Calvary London on Vimeo

My inspiration for this poem came from a very strange event that happened to me late one night. I was in the middle of having a nightmare and felt the Lord stirring me and making me aware of the fact that I needed to wake up. I've been aware of Jesus "rescuing" me from unpleasant dreams several times in the past but as I started to come around this time I discovered to my horror that I couldn't actually move any part of my body! I couldn't even speak or make a noise and felt like I was being pinned to my bed! It was as if there was a huge pressure pushing down on my chest and arms and like it was spreading down my whole body. I knew that if I didn 't get it to stop then the sensation was going to keep getting worse and more frightening.

In my hazy state of paralysis and panic the only thing I could think to do was cry out to Jesus for help, which of course is also the best thing to do in any situation! In my heart and mind I cried out into the night three words: "Jesus! Help me! "
In the same second that I called out to Him the heavy, crushing feeling that was spreading down my body like water completely lifted off me and evaporated into thin air. Suddenly I felt like I could breathe again and was very grateful to find the control of my limbs had returned. Feeling quite frightened by the whole thing I gave my husband Jan a shake and sluggishly muttered something along the lines of "I had a nightmare!" Now if I'm woken up in the night I'm pretty much like the Grinch! Thankfully Jan is far more gracious and he turned over, pulled me into a cuddle and I promptly went back to sleep.

The next day though I was thinking "What on earth was that about?" and so naturally decided to Google it. I discovered that what I had experienced the night before sounded exactly like something called "Sleep Paralysis. "  Apparently it 's caused by a chemical released by the brain during the REM (rapid eye movement) section of sleep to make the body inactive and relaxed so that we don 't physically live out our dreams. If the chemical kicks in too early as the person falls asleep or doesn't wear off quickly enough as they wake up it can leave them feeling like they're paralysed for a time. It's very unpleasant as I discovered but doesn't cause any long-term damage thankfully!

I do also feel that what happened to me that night definitely had an element of spiritual warfare to it. It felt extremely dark and oppressive and very much like an attack so it just got me thinking about how vulnerable we are as humans when we go to sleep and by contrast how powerful Jesus is. He never sleeps and this experience really showed me that He never takes His eyes away from His children!

Of course I already knew that God never goes to sleep but to go through such an event and discover first hand that no matter what time of day it is and what condition your mind may be in, when you call out to Him He 's always there and able to help. His power knows no boundaries and He 's attentive to every minute of our lives, even when we sleep! That's definitely a God worth sharing with others.

Even when I sleep I know my Saviour's always there,
When nightmares fill my mind with fear I know He hears my prayer.
Though vulnerable with no defence to claim or call my own
I know that even when I sleep my Saviour's on His Throne.

A misty world of hazy thoughts, a maze of dark and light.
I shall not fret or be afraid of terrors in the night
For Jesus is my refuge and my dreams He oversees,
His presence in my sleep is like a cool, refreshing breeze.

He chases every eerie and pernicious, frightening thought
Or images so terrible I know are not of God.
Though sleep may make my mind just like a cave to be explored
I know I venture nowhere without Christ, my Sovereign Lord.

For even when I sleep I know His eyes are watching me,
We walk disjointed paths that only He and I can see.
So when the visions of the night are dark and bring despair
I call out to my Saviour and He proves He's always there.

His power knows no boundaries and sleep can challenge not
My awesome God who rescues me when dreams are tense and fraught.
He reaches my subconscious as He sees my fears increase,
He gently reassures my soul and brings me restful peace.

It's comforting to know from Jesus Christ I cannot stray;
To my all-seeing, watchful God the night will shine like day.
When turbid dreams grow sinister He cuts right through the dim
For dark and light are both alike and just the same to Him.

With broken thoughts I venture through the mystic midnight lands
But even when I sleep I know my life is in His hands.
His Spirit joins me in the depths wherever I may roam
And if I stray and wander far my Saviour brings me home.

He never takes His eyes from those whose hearts belong to Him.
He guards them with His Spirit, with His mighty Cherubim.
His eyes go to and fro across the Earth for hearts to reap;
What privilege is mine to serve a God who doesn't sleep!

So even when I sleep I wish to share the Gospel news.
I dream of pointing souls to Christ, the Saviour there to choose.
Within the dark of night my heart's desire is the same;
To point the lost t'wards Jesus and bring glory to His name.

I play the role of supplicant, emotions feel extreme
As echoes of real life begin to permeate my dream.
My sleeping limbs lie dormant while recovering their strength
But mind and soul engage in sharing Jesus Christ at length.

In dreams I speak with confidence, with urgency so strong,
Convincing souls of Satan's lies, to see the right from wrong.
Within surreal encounters I engage in godly talk,
Encouraging each soul to seek the narrow path to walk.

I fervently describe the loss that Jesus Christ endured
That we might have redemption and eternal life secured.
He brought us out of darkness through His sacrificial pains.
He freed the slaves of sin and death, for Jesus broke the chains!

Our perfect Lord who knew no fault endured horrendous loss
For every sin was nailed with Christ upon the Roman Cross.
He took the judgment and the wrath that wasn't His to take.
The Son of God was crucified for His beloved's sake.

Yes even in my sleep this sober truth I wish to share.
In Heaven we have righteous robes of purest white to wear!
But this is not from efforts of our own that have sufficed;
We have a place prepared for us and through the blood of Christ.

I speak about the love of God and pointing to the truth
I beg and plead that they'd believe, let Jesus be their proof!
I ask that they would choose the God who'll set their spirit free,
The Lord of my salvation for He did the same for me.

My dreams at night inspire me to live for Jesus' sake,
They give me confidence to do the same when I awake.
Though deep within the world of sleep I cannot take control
I rest in knowing Jesus has His hand upon my soul.

So even when I sleep I'm not beyond my Saviour's touch.
There is no height or depth or any distance that's too much.
He only has to speak before the darkness tries to hide!
Forever my Companion, in His safety I'll abide.

His mighty arms protectively surround my sleeping form,
As minutes tick throughout the dark His presence keeps me warm.
I never face the night alone, a truth so dear to keep.
My faithful Jesus by my side, even when I sleep.

Psalm 34:15
"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry."

Psalm 119:55
"I remember Your name in the night, O Lord."

Acts 2:21
"And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
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