Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sleep: The Greatest Gift of All

Posted by Michael

I have a love/hate relationship with sleep.

I love a good night’s sleep, especially when the room is really cold, and I’m tucked in under heaps of warm blankets. One of the greatest gifts to mankind is waking up in the morning and realizing that you still have 45 minutes until your alarm goes off. Second sleep is the best!

I also battle against sleep.

I love to stay up late. There’s always something else to get done, or on the rare occasions when I feel caught up, it’s so tempting to try to squeeze in that movie I’ve been wanting to watch or catch up on the that TV show that’s been on my DVR for 6 months.  Sometimes when I finally give up and get my body still, my mind rebels. Thoughts of a thousand things undone today and twice as much to be done tomorrow bombard me relentlessly. My body is still, but my mind replays conversations, reworks budgets, and reorganizes an upcoming talk. My sleep is fitful and pointless and I wake up exhausted and push myself to grind through the new day.

On these days I have to return to the reflections of the Jewish king, David, in one of his many psalms where he wrote, “I will lie down and rest in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8). I have no real ability to make my days work. I do not have the vision to see all of the potential problems and challenges in the future or the power to keep myself safe from them. But God does. I am comforted by the fact that it gives Him joy to give me rest. Not only does He offer it, He commands it. Surrendering to sleep is my time to acknowledge that it's not my job to run the world. God is in control, not me. With the world safely off my shoulders and back in God's hands where it belongs, sleep becomes a blessing for both my mind and body. My prayer for you is that in the midst of all of your festive Christmas busyness this year, you will find the most peaceful and healing sleep you have had all year. Rest well! 

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