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From Battleground to Sacred Space

June 12, 2017

by Judy Palpant

R.I.P. "Rest in peace" is usually reserved as a benediction for the dead. But it is the living who need restful sleep, and for one in 10 Americans, this is only an elusive dream. As sleep evades, the mind becomes a strategic battleground and the pillow a daunting beachhead. We rummage through the past, mull over the present. Hopes and fears converge. Principalities and powers joust overhead.

Consider a different scenario: whether stuffed with feathers, foam or fiberfill, the pillow can become a place of peaceful refuge. God values our heads and minds. The apostle Paul decrees that we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). And he recommends wearing the helmet of salvation as protection from spiritual attack (Ephesians 6:17).

In Genesis 28, the stone which propped up Jacob's precious, preoccupied head by night turned into an altar of praise by morning. After seeing a ladder of angels in his dream and hearing from God, he declared his hard pillow-stone a monument and poured oil over it. He named it Bethel—"House of God."

Your pillow, whether firm or soft, is just that—a sacred space. A sanctuary. Worship there. Claim it as holy ground. Relax into it. Alone and awake, lift up your heart to the Lord. Invite God's intimate presence to come. Repent. Trust. Abide. Contemplate. Your grateful praise and worship ascend to the throne of God. And like a celestial visitation, His grace, mercy and peace descend.

F.B. Meyer wrote in Through the Bible by Day, "There is an open way between heaven and earth for each of us. The movement of the tide and the circulation of the blood are not more regular than the intercommunication between heaven and earth. Jacob may have thought that God was local; now he found Him to be omnipresent. Every lonely spot was His house, filled with angels."

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