“The bed is too short to stretch out, and the shroud is too narrow to cover oneself.”
Isaiah 28:20 (Common English Bible)
A bed that is too short and a blanket that is too narrow are inadequate for restful, healthy sleep. Both may serve us well as temporary arrangements when nothing else is available. But in the long-term, either we find an adequate bed along with a sufficient blanket or we suffer; we will suffer general discomfort in our rest, experience aches and pains of every sort and possibly move through the day with sleep-deprivation. Adequate rest requires adequate accommodation.
Just as a short bed fails to provide for a growing body and a narrow blanket leaves people shivering in the cold so does a short and narrow faith leave us morally stunted and shivering with every kind of fear. God desires that we have a bed of faith on which to stretch a full human life and be warmly wrapped in the mantle of confidence in the living power of the risen Christ. When we hear of those who are short on integrity and frightened of every uncertainty it is reasonable to ask the nature of the faith that is sustaining them.
Many who self-identify as Christians today live in the danger of believing too little. They are very uncomfortable on the beds of their faith. Ignoring the inevitable growing pains of faith, such people do little to nourish personal spiritual growth. They seek to make do with the cradle of faith provided them by others. The untroubled sleep of their early years now demands more – a larger bed of faith and a wider blanket of confidence in God. The faith question presses, will they pursue a faith-growth plan that furnishes them with the largest and broadest and strongest thoughts of God that will sustain them as adults or will they continually seek to squeeze back into the crib in which they were so happy in childhood?
Perhaps there is nothing more pathetic than to see a Christian, who ought to be flexing an adult’s faith in the challenges of life, content with a mere child’s share of understanding of God. Instead of stretching onto an adult sized faith they tuck themselves into a cradle. Each morning they get up from it lame and aching. Worse, they are chilled by every blast of unbelief and uncertainty that blows.