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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Sunday, April 18

"Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
—Ephesians 5:14

Deep in the darkness we rest. We rest from our labor, our over-active imaginations, our nagging worries, our interaction with others, our niggling anxieties. After a day of activity, we glimpse the night stars gathering, and we begin to make the shift from day to night, from light to dark, from busyness to passivity. We feel ready to climb into bed, take cover under darkness and forget the burdens of the day. We close our eyes for sleep, and wait for the restoration it can bring.

But if we’re left too long in sleep, left too long in darkness, the pulsing energy within us slows. Whether the darkness be the hours of night or the dull routine that leaves us sleeping through life’s unfolding, we become dead to our own humanity, lost among the living, as if we are automatons filling out our appointed days on planet earth.

The great spiritual task is to stay awake through life. It is a task that demands our greatest effort and our deepest faith. Our greatest effort because the lure of sleep comes over us so easily. Our deepest faith because the lure of hopelessness stands so nearby.

When, however, we are brave enough to wake up—to rise from the lifelessness that can overtake us—we are amazed to find that we are bathed in the light of heaven. Just as we shake the languor from our sleepy souls to engage with life, we feel the curious beat of passion moving in us. In the space of a moment we return to life and all the possibilities that it holds.

Gracious God, surprise my soul with the light of heaven that warms me for the living of life.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2008.