My Sleeping Mat

Jesus is my sleeping mat

Just after Boxing Day last year, we dragged our kids away from their Christmas presents and gadgets and set off on an adventure in the Snowy Mountains.

A tropical resort with kid’s club is more up my list of things to do in the holidays. But iit seems we’ve grown a love for the simplicity of hiking in the wilderness.

No more hot showers, no flushing toilets, no comfy beds, no movies and games on demand. Just a massive pack on our backs and a few snakes to keep us company, living in the same clothes for a few days.

On our last adventure I forgot the toothbrushes. This made our kids extremely happy since we couldn’t bug them to brush their teeth for a few nights.

When we are out in the mountains there are so many moments that remind me of our wondrous God… There are the intricate wildflowers, stretching up to the sky, which remind me of the goodness of God in his mighty creation. The views from our mountain top picnics, which make me ponder what it was like to gaze upon the Promised Land. The grumbling of our kids as they question why we have brought them on this adventure instead of leaving them at home in the comforts of their screens, should I say ‘in Egypt’?

Perhaps it’s the unhurried moments sitting on the ground around our little burner waiting for dinner to cook, reflecting on the day. These moments may just be best because they remind me of how the disciples would have sat with Jesus listening and learning and wondering what the next day held for them.

But actually, the moment I love the most about these trips is the moment I lay down on my sleeping mat. All that can be heard initially is silence. But listen longer …and you can hear the water running off the mountain, and into the streams, that work their way down into the rivers, and then into the lakes.

In that moment I listen with utter thankfulness for all that God has so richly provided to us. On that uncomfortable little sleeping mat I am comforted by the One who allows me to rest.

Jesus is my sleeping mat.

In fact, throughout the Bible God is calling his people to come and rest on him. From the beginning he created the Sabbath, not for himself, but for us.

I reckon many of us would find the words of Jesus quite appealing when he says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Because we are weary and burdened!

We’re weary from workplaces that want more and more of our time… the busy school schedules that heap guilt on us for not being there to applaud our kids… the after-school activities, meal planning and shopping, cleaning, caring for aged parents, enduring chronic illnesses, managing difficult relationships.

It’s exhausting even thinking about it.

But perhaps Jesus was thinking a bigger than our ‘to do’ lists.

Perhaps he was speaking about a rest from the constant wrestle in our hearts to be more, do more and have more. Perhaps he is asking us to come to him and lie down and listen in the silence, listen for the living water that provides the only rest for our souls.

Jesus is my sleeping mat. Is he yours? 

Nada Appleby attends the Port Kembla and Warrawong Anglican Church.