Sleep; July 19, 2019

Psalms 4:8 I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O Lord,
make me dwell in safety.

Sleep disorders of one sort or another are a very common problem these days. We prioritize “screen time” and let our hearts get so busy that we essentially forget how to rest. David didn’t deal with screen time, but he spent a significant chunk of his life running from King Saul, who was literally out to kill him. That sort of thing can certainly get your heart stirred up! David discovered the same thing Paul did. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) The answer is simply, and obviously, to trust God. The problem is, we have great difficulty doing that in practical terms. We know it in theory, but when push comes to shove, we often balk, to our great loss. Often we fail to see how our life choices run counter to faith. Take the matter of screen time. Our priority needs to be fellowship with our Lord, even above “getting things done” for Him, much less entertaining ourselves with things of the world. When He says to do something we need to do it, but He is not a harsh taskmaster, and He knows how to handle our work load. He even told us that directly! (Matthew 11:28-30) It almost always comes back to trusting Him enough to be fully obedient to Him, in our time allocation in particular but in all other things as well.

This is particularly timely for me, because my wife got up because of pain, (not an unusual occurrence for her) and when I woke up for a bathroom break at 3:30 I went into her workroom to check on her. I logically decided it would be wise for me to get some more sleep after that, but once in bed, my mind went into overdrive. Finally, around 4:30 I gave up and got up. I know the truth of what I wrote about this verse, and I recommend it to others all the time, but I don’t always practice it effectively myself! Little things like this should keep me humble as I minister to others, keeping me from accusing them when they fail to follow through on the truths I share with them. As a teacher I tend to feel that speaking truth should be sufficient, but my own life is a demonstration that is not so. I need to walk alongside them, as well as recognize my need for others to walk alongside me, coaching and encouraging rather than accusing. That is what the Holy Spirit does, which is a good check on whether we are hearing His voice or that of Satan, the “accuser of the brethren.” (Revelation 12:10)

Father, thank You for this timely Word. Thank You for getting me through the day yesterday without excessive tiredness, because I woke up awfully early yesterday, too. I do ask Your strength and clear guidance for me today, not only to get the things done that filled my mind in bed this morning but also in terms of when and how to get the rest You have for me. Keep me from trying to run my life by myself, because that’s a sure recipe in how to ruin my life. Help me trust You enough to obey You fully, in every detail, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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