While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:59-60, NIV
When I read the story of Stephen's trial before the Sanhedrin, the final three words of Acts 7 stopped me as I read: He fell asleep.
At first, I wondered, did he literally fall asleep as they were stoning him? No. But I decided it didn't matter. Stephen was enduring one of the most violent deaths possible. His accusers were stoning him for his faith in Christ.
He prayed, "Receive my spirit. Forgive them." After that? He passed from this life to the next as easily as falling asleep. As peaceful, as restful, as desirable, as anyone desires their experience of death to be.
God turned death into a nap for Stephen.
God made a fast-day lunch for my friend Karla into a feast. She shares the story:
I went to the store closest to my house, and grabbed this funky seaweed snack which tastes . . . well, funky . . . but it somehow adventurous and fun. I grabbed some antioxidant juice that was on sale. I went home and made a chocolate protein shake. I looked at the bounty--all healthy and good--and said to myself: "Funny how God can turn a fast into a feast."
If God can change death into a nap and a fast into a feast--what will He do with my day?
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