Monday, November 28, 2011

"He neither slumbers nor sleeps" (Psalms 121: 4)

I have to admit that I am completely nervous writing this blog. I know it's what God wants me to do, but I have faced an inordinate amount of opposition from the adversary, trying to fill me with discouragment and self-doubt and destroy my confidence over the past day and a half. To tell you the truth, I am still somewhat in the process of accepting my condition, despite the fact that I've felt this way for a very long time. Luckily, the Lord has chosen to help me a lot in return over the past few days as well. In fact, it is only with his prompting that I've decided to share another piece of my story in this post.

I have to be very careful what I disclose on this blog as I'm trying to keep my identity very secret, and honestly, what I'm going to say in this post may be a little more specific than I am comfortable with. However, I must admit that it is quite relevant to my story and the insights I'd like to share, even if it increases the risk that those reading might be more likely to figure out who I am. So here goes:

Besides having same-sex attraction, my life is strongly influenced by an even rarer affliction. I have a rare and severe form of insomnia. I often stay awake for multiple days at a time and many other nights it takes me many hours to get to sleep. Those of you who struggle with SSA can understand the dilemma this creates. Night--after everyone else is asleep--is when the most awful wanderings of thought and temptation set in. Now, I have been blessed with the strength to resist those temptations and stay away from pornography and masturbation, but it is amazing how strong the temptations can be to commit sins you've never fallen into before! Harder to escape than the physical sins of pornography or masturbation are the awful thoughts the mind is capable of conjuring up all on its own. Fantasies of other men are terrible and swift ways to fill a soul with guilt!

Those of my friends who are super busy like I am always tell me how jealous they are that I don't sleep much, as they see the clear advantage of having extra time. What they don't know is that I dread those hours awake and keeping busy is one way to avoid the fantasies and temptations. When the sun is down and everyone else is asleep I have to put my guard up extra high. I try not to use my computer at that point, because I know that all people are vulnerable and a clean track record doesn't guarantee that I won't be pornography's next victim.

How do I deal with that? Sometimes I don't even know, but Psalms 121:4 has always given me lots of hope in this matter:

"Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep"

So, does that mean my insomnia is a Christ-like attribute? :)
Seriously, though, this scripture reminds me that I'm not the only one still awake during those long nights. At first, this used to be a heavy, harrowing thought--as in, you'd better not mess up because God's watching! However, I've come to understand why the passage doesn't say "watcheth," but rather "keepeth." To "keep" is the job of a shepherd. Shepherds don't just watch sheep so they can shake their head in dismay at sheep when they go stray. They KEEP the sheep by helping to bring them back, but more importantly to keep them from straying in the first place! So, knowing that God, like me on many occasions, slumbers not is comforting and strengthening. It means He's there as a resource to help me get through the long nights without giving into temptation. He keeps me, not just watches me.

You may not struggle with insomnia or SSA, but I guarantee that there will be times in your life when you must face your weaknesses and when you will be looking temptation in the eye and nobody will be watching. Whether it is pornography, masturbation, inappropriate fantasies, cheating on a test, substance abuse, skipping out on scriptures or prayer, or anything else... when the temptation comes, remember that God isn't slumbering and is there to offer His strength and support as He keeps and not just watches you.

My best,


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment or leave questions. Just be aware that I moderate all comments before posting. I won't post things that are offensive. I will post controversial comments and questions so long as they aren't mean-spirited. I'd love to hear your comments and answer questions; just play nice! :)