My soul is content . . . when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the night watches. Psalm 63:5a,6
Is that how you feel when you awaken in the middle of the night, or roll over one more time and see the clock has ticked away another half hour and you still can’t shut your eyes and shut off the world? Like the Princess and the Pea, is there a little something that keeps nagging at you and keeping you from peaceful sleep no matter how you try to cover it up? It may be more than your mattress. It may be your foundation.
The Bible talks a great deal about sleep and peace. God knows the importance of rest. He created our bodies to work when they are resting. We grow at night, cells rejuvenate, the brain recharges, emotions level. If we are sleep deprived, it takes a toll on not only our emotions, but our ability to think, process food, and keep the weight off. God speaks to us in dreams. Problems are solved in them, wisdom given, peace doled out. Your mother was right – you need your rest.
So, how do you slough off the stress of the day and sink into peaceful sleep? Sleep experts will tell you we need to wind down and let our brains relax. Perhaps that is why we teach our children to pray before they crawl into bed. Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray my soul the Lord to keep. Guard me Jesus through the night. Wake me with the morning light (and not before please).
Do you still do that? Do you give all your cares to God, dump your day on His shoulders and ask Him to give you new mercies and strength in the morning after a restful night? Do you not let the sun set on your anger, or the moon rise on your shame? Like that pea buried under so many mattresses yet still so profoundly felt by the Princess, is there an unresolved something putting pressure on you? I saw a plaque that said to Give all your cares to God, He’ll be up all night anyway, so why should you?
On my bedside table I have a little card that was on my pillow one time on a women’s retreat. Sleep well, God is in control. I admit, there have been times I needed that reassurance. Just knowing that saying is there gives me hope.
The next time you are up in the wee hours of the morning, don’t lie there and stew. Get out of bed, go to a quiet place, away from the snoring on the next pillow for which you are so jealous, and write down your thoughts. Let God calm your heart, even if that means washing your soul with your own tears. Then, crawl back into bed, feel His warm arms around you, rocking you in love. Rest in Peace is not just for the Heaven bound. It can work here on earth as well.
Old Prayer –
O heavenly Father, you give your children sleep for the refreshing of soul and body: Grant me this gift, I pray; keep me in that perfect peace which you have promised to those whose minds are fixed on you; and give me such a sense of your presence, that in the hours of silence I may enjoy the blessed assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.