Physical Stewardship; August 7, 2022

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

This is a very important declaration of faith, particularly with the current increase in sleep disorders. Sleep has been an issue for as long as we have records, but these days people are not only busy, they have constant electronic distractions that can rob them of proper rest. David’s impediment to sleep was the fact that he had many enemies, some of them quite literally out to take his life. That would be true for some occupations today, particularly on the battlefield, but the ordinary “road warrior” often has sleep problems too, anxious about whether he will make his quota and earn enough commission to support his family. The answer to all such circumstances boils down to faith. We need to accept how little of our lives we actually control, and choose to trust the One who not only can control it all, He has our best interests at heart. What we can control is how we respond to all the distractions that are thrown our way. We don’t control the distractions as such, but we can control how we respond to them, turning devices off, limiting screen time, and that sort of thing. Many studies have shown the great importance of our sleep schedule in terms of physical and emotional health. Choosing to do all we can to get appropriate rest is part of the stewardship we owe our Creator. It’s like someone gave you a car but you only added fuel when necessary and never changed the oil or had other maintenance done. Not only would the car not last very long, the person who gave it to you would be none too happy either. The best maintenance plan for human beings is to seek the Manufacturer’s instructions and trust Him to follow through.

I learned automotive maintenance the hard way, starting from total ignorance. I knew that oil had to be added when low, but I had no idea it, and the filter, had to be changed periodically. I drove one car to the point that the oil filter was completely clogged, the oil couldn’t circulate and so boiled, and the engine block cracked and caught on fire. I certainly don’t want to do that with my body! I have had times of insomnia, but I have learned that choosing to thank and praise God in my heart as I lie in bed is far and away the best way to get to sleep. Verse four of this chapter is very applicable: “In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” (Psalm 4:4) Any strong emotion can keep me awake, and failing to release it to God is sin. I need to let Jesus be Lord of every moment of my life, both internally and externally.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the good night’s sleep I just got! Help me be a good steward of everything You place in my hands, from my body to my time to my abilities to my possessions, so that Your purposes may be fulfilled 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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