I don’t get to tell stories on Shannon very often, but I remember this one time before we had kids. While I was getting ready for work (early since I was a teacher), Shannon was sleeping since he worked from home, but he was moaning and complaining that his stomach hurt. I felt his forehead and he wasn’t feverish, but I could tell he was in agony. He usually doesn’t complain or actually moan about much. I was making breakfast when I looked in the sink and saw a bowl with what looked like peanut butter scraped around the edges and inside the bowl were a few crusts of bread. I wondered where that could have come from since I did the dishes the night before and the sink was empty. I couldn’t figure it out, so I shrugged my shoulders, said goodbye, and went to work.
A few hours later, Shannon called me at work during one of my classes. He never called while I was at work, so I thought it must be important and took the call. I told my class to sit tight while I answered. Shannon began to describe a strange dream he had last night where he had eaten the best peanut butter and banana sandwich he had ever eaten … and then when he went to the kitchen he saw the bowl and the crusts and realized he actually MADE the peanut butter and banana sandwich in his sleep last night! I yelled out, “OH NO!” because I knew the bananas were ROTTEN!! I had intended to make banana bread because they had started to turn, but time had passed since I first had that intention. I meant to throw them away, but failed to do so, and the bananas continued to sit on the counter getting blacker and grosser until Sleep-Shannon made his infamous stomach-busting nighttime snack.
My class overheard this conversation so I had to fill them in on the clues I found earlier and now the mystery was solved. Of course, they thought it was hilarious, as I’m sure you do!
I use this story to illustrate the fact that sometimes the nighttime you is not on your side. Nighttime you wants to destroy Daytime you. Nighttime you does not have your best interests at heart. Daytime you knows the bananas are rotten and would never eat them, let alone turn them into a sandwich — but Daytime you is not always around to stop Nighttime you from doing things Daytime you will regret.
It’s a picture or the duality of our human nature. We all have a sin nature that is out to get us, or at least stop us from reaching our full potential and becoming the men and women God intended for us to be. Daytime you is the side of you that lives in the light of God’s word, being led by His Holy Spirit, and knows the truth and is set free. Nighttime you is the side that no matter how much you know the truth, you still do the things that sabotage your relationship with Him. Nighttime you pulls you back into old habits, even though you clearly realize it’s not God’s best plan for you to go back there and do that.
So how do we deal with Nighttime you? The Word has lots of ideas (and honestly, the more Daytime you spends in the Word, the less sway Nighttime you has over you!) So, step one, is open the Bible!
- How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to the Word of God. Psalm 119:9
- But be not conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
- Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh. Romans 13:14
- Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6
- Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord. Zechariah 4:6
These are just a few verses I could think of off the top of my head. I encourage you to dig into His word and find the verses that help you stop Nighttime you from wrecking your day. God’s word is FULL of life, strength, and instruction to overcome our sinful tendencies. Nighttime you may try to pull you down, but God has given you everything you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). God will give you the strength you need to keep walking in the light. Don’t give up (Galatians 6:9).