Discover the Book Mar. 23, 2011


How to Sleep when Fear Surrounds You

At the end of one of the most grievous days of his life, David rested in the Lord: “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me” (Psalm 3:5). Sleep is a gift from God to help prepare us to start over again tomorrow—refreshed and renewed. It is also a picture of how much we need God, and even more, how we receive His salvation. Sleep should decimate any pride we have in our own power or might, and humble us to think how weak and needy we really are.

We need to think deeply about why God designed sleep.

Sleep is not an accident; God is the designer and promoter of sleep. As believers who look at life through the lens of God's Word, we need to see sleep as having the very signature of God written across it. When God designs something, it is very special and has specific purposes He wants us to know about:

·         Sleep means—work must stop.

·         Sleep means—a day must end.

·         Sleep means—our strength has been depleted and must be renewed.

·         Sleep means—our minds have become weary and must be refreshed.

·         Sleep means—our bodies have gotten exhausted and must be restored.

·         Sleep means—we have limitations that must be faced.

·         Sleep means—we have a dependence that must be acknowledged.

·         Sleep means—we must deny self-sufficiency, as Psalm 121 tells us.

One of the clearest reasons for sleep is to remind us of this truth:

God is God and we are not. We are helpless, limited, and dependent.

But that is not all. Sleep can also be one of the most beautiful reminders of what true saving faith looks like. In a few hours when it is your time to sleep, think of what you will do.

You will end activities, conversations, and even your consciousness of life around you as you lay the full weight of your body on an object that can hold you up (usually a bed).

Then as you lay down you must choose to completely trust that something else other than yourself will hold you up while you are no longer able to take care of yourself. That is pure faith.

So sleep is when we relax fully because we no longer need to take care of ourselves.

We are held up by something else, so we give in to sleep.

As one author so beautifully states: “… throughout the night as you sleep, Someone else is sustaining you. This is a picture of what it’s like to belong to Christ.”

As you crawl into your bed tonight, pause to remember as you entrust your body to be held securely through the night—lift your heart in worship to God who holds your soul in the sweet comfort of lying secure in His arms.

Tell the Lord you are also resting your life in Him. Whisper that you completely need Him, trust in His care, and ask Him to get rid of any pride you may have built up throughout the day.

That is the supreme peace David felt as he laid down in the presence of his enemies and slept. So should we, humbly, and in complete dependence upon our Lord.

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Originally published March 23, 2011.