A father had told his son he would send him to sleep in the attic with only bread and water for his supper if he disobeyed. Well, the boy disobeyed and was sent to the attic. But the father couldn’t eat. He had his son on his mind and his heart. 
His wife said, “I know what you are thinking. But you must not bring the boy from the attic. It would cause him to disobey again. He would have no respect for your word. You must not cheapen your position as his father by failing to keep your word.”
The husband replied, “You are right. But he is so lonely up there.” 
Maybe this story looks familiar to you.  Not the role of the parent, but of the child.  You’ve done something you’re not proud of even though you told yourself you wouldn’t do it again.   You have broken a trust… or a friendship…or a heart… or a promise.  And there you are.  Night has come and you have to face the shadows again. Alone in the dark.  Punished.  Not by God… but by your own mind.  Sitting in isolation and wondering how you’ll get through it.   Each passing hour brings thoughts of loneliness and regret.  Sleep?  Not even close.  Does God hear your prayers anymore?  Does He even know you’re tossing and turning night after night?  Can God stop your pain and restore your rest?
Absolutely.  We just need to renew our faith in Him.  
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”  Psalm 4:8
God alone leads us to safety… but do you believe He can?  Or are you convinced that the prison of doubt, worry, and fear is too strong for even Him?
Do we have faith He will see us through?  
Do we have faith He will release us from the guilt?
Do we have faith He has overcome the world?
Do we have faith He is all we need?
Do we have faith He is all powerful?
Do we have faith He still heals broken hearts?
Do we have faith He isn’t the God of the accusing finger but of the open arms?
Have we replaced “I believe” with “I think He can”? 
The time has come to break free and believe again…  How do I do that?
Choose reliance not regret.  
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
  in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6
Select peace over pain. 
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33
Decide to have faith not fear.
“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”  Hebrews 3:12
Let’s look at the conclusion of our story…
His wife said, “I know what you are thinking. But you must not bring the boy from the attic. It would cause him to disobey again. He would have no respect for your word. You must not cheapen your position as his father by failing to keep your word.”
The husband replied, “You are right. But he is so lonely up there.” 
The man kissed his wife goodnight, entered the attic and when the child went to sleep on the hard boards, his father’s arm was his pillow.

In the darkest of dark nights… God is there.   When we punish ourselves with memories of the past… He is with us.   When we mess up for the hundredth time and find ourselves wrecked by regret and fear… His arms are there…Ready to cradle our head as if a pillow.  
To allow us a night of deep and rejuvenating sleep… protected by our Heavenly Father who loves us more than anyone.    
Has your faith been rocked?  Choose today to start believing with your whole heart that God CAN.  
And for the first time in a long time there will be…

Sweet dreams. 

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