I’m so sleeeepy

woman sleepingBy Trillia Newbell

I’ve been struggling with the big “S” word. It isn’t a four letter word, but it is dirty. Okay and it isn’t one word- but go with me. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines this word as: able to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid: capable of providing for one’s own needs. My struggle over the past few weeks has been with self-sufficiency and it has been manifesting itself through my sleep habits.

I’m busy. I’m busy at home mostly, but I am also busy at home with work. I write, as you can see, and I just can’t do it with a toddler. When I attempt to write with one of my kids around my sentences often look like this: Yesterday hundreds of on-lookers gathered for the 10th annual hey Sydney make sure to chew… Sydney is my daughter and I have on occasion written what I was trying to say to my kids in articles obviously on other subjects. Simply put- I can’t concentrate. So I’ll often find time at night to write and read and then wake up early to do it again.

But God made us to need sleep. We cannot go very long without sleep. I don’t know about you, but something happens to me when I don’t sleep. I often get sick, I’m potentially irritable and impatient, and I can be weak and sluggish. You get the picture- and the picture isn’t pretty! The solution is simple: sleep.  The moments when I put down the computer or pen and lay down for sleep I almost always wake up with a clearer mind and an eagerness to start the day.

There is only One who doesn’t sleep (Psalm 121:4). The rest of us are only fooling ourselves if we think we can be sustained for long without it. The truth is I am the exact opposite of the definition of self-sufficiency. I am unable to maintain myself without the aid of God’s strength and the help of his Spirit (Philippians 4:13). I am unable to provide for my own needs (James 1:17). I need sleep. I need God. God designed us to need sleep so we could remember that we need Him!

Whether it’s a nap or an early night I am resolved to sleep and express my complete dependence on God. Sleep is a gift from God.

“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:1-2 ESV).

Enjoy this prayer from The Valley of Vision


Thou hast promised thy beloved sleep;

Give me restoring rest needful for tomorrow’s toil;

If dreams be mine,

let them not be tinged with evil.

Let thy Spirit make my time of repose

a blessed temple of his holy presence….

I retire this night in full assurance of one day awaking with thee.

All glory for this precious hope,

for the gospel of grace,

for thine unspeakable gift of Jesus,

for the fellowship of the Trinity.

Withhold not thy mercies in the night season;

thy hand never wearies,

thy power needs no repose,

thine eye never sleeps.

Help me when I helpless lie,

when my conscience accuses me of sin,

when my mind is harassed by foreboding thoughts,

when my eyes are held awake by personal anxieties.

Show thyself to me as the God of all grace,

love and power;

thou hast a balm for every wound,

a solace for all anguish,

a remedy for every pain,

a peace for all disquietude.

Permit me to commit myself to thee awake or asleep.

(Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Edited by Arthur Bennett p.298-299)

Other resources:

A Brief Theology on Sleep, by John Piper® Desiring God, www.desirinGod.com http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/a-brief-theology-of-sleep

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