I was reading — listening (it was an audiobook) — to a story by Ellis Peters in her ‘Brother Cadfael’ series of novels, and Brother Cadfael was ministering to a poor individual in much distress. His comment “Sleep easy, God is awake” struck me immediately as a wonderful phrase, and a great evocation of faith.
In the last couple of days, since listening to this, I have discovered that variations on this expression are well-known, even if not by me. My first thought was of the gospel story known as ‘The Agony in the Garden.’
Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”
And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
[Matthew 26:40-44 NKJV]
The disciples slept, while Jesus was awake, watching and in prayer. He returned to the disciples three times.
We can sleep — be at rest in Jesus — while He watches and prays, vigilant and protecting His flock (see John 17:6-19).
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
[John 17:12-13 NKJV]
There is no joy in a personality unless it can create. The joy of an artist is not in the fame which his pictures bring him, but that the work is the creation of his personality. The work of Jesus is the creation of saints.
He can take the worst, the most misshapen material, and make a saint.
The fullest meaning of sanctification is that Jesus Christ created in us what He is Himself.
The apostle Paul alludes to the joy of creating when he says, ‘For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of glorying? ... For You are our glory and our joy.’
[from ‘Bringing Sons Into Glory’]