I love to sleep. For me, that is not as hard to admit as some people would think. This does not mean I advocate sleeping when one should be up and about being productive or engaged in “healthy” leisure, but there is a time for sleep; restful and restorative sleep. Even Jesus slept, so there is nothing particularly sinful about sleeping. In fact, one time He slept so soundly that not even a windstorm could arouse Him from His slumber (Luke 8:22-25). Some of us could definitely relate to that!
A good night’s sleep is a gift from God. The anxious workaholic who strives to do everything in his or her own effort may disagree, but there is nothing virtuous about working long hours, regardless of vocation, that leaves one with little time for proper sleep. Psalm 127:2 reminds us, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep” (KJV, emphasis added). When feeling troubled and unable to sleep, we should remind ourselves that as long as we are right with God and other people, the Lord “replenishes every sorrowful soul” (Jeremiah 31:25). Jeremiah slept sweetly when he dreamt of the redemption of Israel and Judah (Jeremiah 31:26).
For those who have difficulty sleeping, for whatever reasons, it is important to examine if the inability to sleep in any way reflects a lack of trust in God in our circumstances that provoke such restlessness. Maybe there are areas in our lives in which we are experiencing conviction and like David, that is something we have to address (see Psalm 32:3-5). However, once we are secure in who He is, what He is able to do, and trust Him with the things pertaining to us, we can realize the truth of Proverbs 3:24, “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.”
Our mental outlook not only affects our ability to sleep but also our spiritual well-being. Christian author and pastor D.A. Carson put it this way: “We are whole complicated beings: our physical existence is tied to our spiritual well-being, to our mental outlook, to our relationships with others, including our relationship with God. Sometimes the godliest thing you can do in the universe is get a good night’s sleep – not pray all night, but sleep. I’m certainly not denying that there may be a place for praying all night: I’m merely insisting that in the normal course of things, spiritual discipline obligates you to get the sleep your body needs.” I wholeheartedly agree.
So, how is your sleep? Remember, God promises His beloved sleep. Do what you have to do in order to walk in that promise. Trust me, it is an enjoyable experience and the benefits are many.