As I anxiously lie awake in my bed, I’m curious as to why I was not able to sleep. I had little sleep the night before and had a full day of activity but yet, there was something hindering me from sleeping. I began recounting the strenuous activities and out of frustration, I sat up and walked out to the living room couch. There was no use in trying to sleep. I sat down on the couch in the pitch black of the night, illuminated by the lone lamp. I anxiously asked myself, “Why couldn’t I sleep?” The question only made me more anxious.
I wonder if many of us have had many similar experiences where we sleep or play, but find little relief or rest.
Sleep is something we as humans do for a third of our lives! A THIRD! We spend another third working, and the rest we get to do other things. How important is our sleep, and how important is it to our lives?
We serve a God who does not sleep, yet desires to give us rest. Gives a day of Sabbath rest and also sleep each night as our batteries run out.
Psalm 127:2 says, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved in his sleep.”
Sleep that God gives is a gift of love, but anxious toil or worry spoils good sleep. I think that God made sleep necessary for us as a constant reminder of our limits and our boundaries. It is a built in mechanism that we cannot do it all, and we can never take the place of God, but must depend on Him daily, each day.
“He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”– Psalm 121:4
What a humbling sense of mortality and reminder to depend on the Holy God who desires to give us rest as he promises. Matthew 11:25 states that He desires this for us. Sometimes in sleep, but in resting well, and even in working well.
His call for us not to worry is a plea for us to have life, and only life in Him, not in ourselves. Like this past Sunday’s sermon, I found the Lord even through my own words, preaching to me about the dependency and trust in Him. In worrying much, my anxious thoughts haunt me into depending on myself. What a message to the ones we call self-made men, that we will tire, our strength will wane, and we must lie down. But when we tire, and we sleep, we surrender and allow God, who does not sleep, to be God and for us to be His sheep.
Let us wake, and work hard, and when we tire, to rest well. How do we rest well? To not trust in ourselves or our own strength, but to do what we can and what we are called to, but then to allow God to orchestrate and watch over the rest. And sometimes, the most obedient thing for us to do is to sleep. Godly sleep and trust that He will handle. Let us work hard, but then sleep and rest well with no anxious thoughts of control or worry, because He who is greater than us, is also trustworthy to keep us and to make us lie down in green pastures.