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Jay and Diana Cherry are friends of mine who recently moved to Haiti to serve in a church-based orphanage (see pictures of their work). Both of them have been blogging about their experiences. Each time I read one of their posts I’m freshly encouraged in Jesus. Jay’s post today about what Haitians can teach us about sleep and trusting Jesus was no exception. He writes:

I have slept in a lot of places, from the ground of a school bus to bat-infested hostels in Guatemala, and yet sleeping in Haiti is still profoundly different than anywhere else I have slept. Part of that difference could be our mattress that seems to be trying to conform to a Sine Wave Pattern across my back. Jay and Diana CherryAnd my side of the bed is the top of the Wave. So I wake up with back pain, and want to complain about it to someone, and then I walk around the village and see that many people are sleeping on dirt floors, or maybe concrete floors, every single night. Some people do have mattresses, which are considered a luxury, and I wake up thinking my mattress needs to be made of cloud or something. I am thus constantly reminded of my entitled spirit, and constantly running back to Jesus for him to hold me, love me, make me and change me. But the mattress is only one aspect of my slumber disruption.

And of course the mosquitoes seem quite interested in me as well, but the biggest part of it I think is life all around. We go walking through the village and it is impossible to ignore the poverty we see. There are burdens here that cannot be easily forgotten. Yesterday I was asked by one of our friends here if I slept well last night. I answered honestly that I hadn’t slept well. She asked if it was because of the heat (which is a very valid reason here too), but I told her it was because I had a lot on my mind. She told me in Creole simply that “You need to think less if you want to sleep.” It seemed to be advice that came from experience, and it kind of explains part of the culture here. Basically, I felt she was saying that in the poverty here, if someone wants to survive and stay sane, they need to not think about the reality of life here. Life is that hard. If you want to sleep at night, you better not think about tomorrow.

The Haitians have learned that out of necessity, but it is true of life everywhere. Jesus said “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” As he had just told his followers, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:26,27,34)

I want to learn to cast all my burdens to Jesus. The burdens are too great for me to carry, but in my arrogance, I sometimes see myself able enough to handle them. Life is too hard to carry them. And therefore I am ever more grateful that Jesus came to be my savior.

Read the entire post.

  • Terry

    Thanks for this article Dan. I need to be reminded of the truth that God cares for all my burdens. It truly is humbling to be reminded what is really a burden and what is just a sense of entitlement.

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