While I was sleeping

September 13, 2018

I’m so thankful for anesthesia.  Aren’t you?  It’s what gets us in and out of surgery and medical procedures without going into shock or losing our minds.

Our family has had some good laughs about things I said while coming out of anesthesia from my cancer surgery.  I was “under the influence” for almost 16 hours so that stuff had a pretty good hold on me.

I said things I wouldn’t usually say in ways I wouldn’t usually say them.  I saw things that weren’t really there.  I was sure I knew facts that weren’t really factual.  Time dragged on or sped up all on its own without conferring with reality.  Everything smelled rotten and my legs wouldn’t hold still.  I was a mess but I didn’t know it until later – when I really woke up and came to my senses.

I know in our world today it’s so easy to be under the influence of something or someone.  It can be a substance (alcohol, drugs, food)  It can a person (boss, friend, family member).   It could be thoughts (guilt, bitterness, unforgiveness, jealousy) which could lead to being controlled by feelings (anger, hate, fear, sadness).

Wowzers.  So many things that want to be in control of our lives if we let them.  I could very easily slide right in to being controlled by any of those above mentioned things.  Admittedly,  I have been controlled by some of them in my past and will probably struggle with them in the future.

One way I’ve found to have my wits about me so I don’t get under the influence of something bad is to be alert and be aware of the truth.  I do this by daily reading God’s Word (aka: The Bible).  I always start there because, well, it’s from God and He always tells the truth.

Next, I make sure that I talk to Him all of the time.  It’s not always a formal conversation.  He’s always listening and wants to hear from me.  He guides my thinking and helps me stay on track.  He has intercepted my thought pattern many times and redirected me when I started to get all crazy-like.

Another good thing is to have good, truth-telling people around.  You know, the ones who tell you what you need to hear and not just what you want to hear.  They remind you of God’s faithfulness when you start to go off the deep end.  They hold you accountable to trust God and be obedient even when you pout and want to do otherwise.  They say the hard things when necessary and hug you when your eyes start to leak.

Sometimes after the truth-reading, real-praying, hard-listening happens, there’s only one thing left for me to do – I just do it.  I obey.  Yielding my wants and thoughts to be replaced by God’s desires for me.  Trading in the bad influence for the good influence.  I’m always glad when I arrive back to the strong and protective arms of my savior and He always welcomes me back.

Sometimes I don’t know how bad I was under the influence of something until later.  That’s when I look back and say it was “when I was sleeping”.  And then I’m extra thankful to be awake and alert and under God’s influence.

Lord, you are always for me.  You are never against me.  When I mess up, you’re always waiting for me with open arms and forgiveness.  Help me to stay under your perfect influence.  Protect me from things and people and my own thoughts that try to pull me away from how you want me to live.  Help me to stay awake in your truth.  Amen.

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