07 October 2013

Getting Enough Sleep (A Habit for Day 7)

Anyone who spends time around children quickly begins to recognize the signs.  Hyper?  Cranky?  A bit more stubborn than usual?  More tears than usual?

Yep, it's time for bed, or at the very least, a nap!

Yet we easily lose sight of our own need for rest as adults, even though we often show the same signs of sleepiness seen in children.  We're just a little more sophisticated in the ways we show them!

It can be even more difficult to come by a good night's rest in our busy lives when we're facing extra stress.  The stress in turn feels worse because we're tired, and we go around and around in a vicious circle.  How do we stop the craziness?

I believe the Word of God is the first place to go for help when we're having trouble sleeping.

 Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For My burden is easy, and My yoke is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

I realize that in the middle of our greatest trials, we don't always want to come to Jesus.  We're angry, we're hurt, we wonder why He lets things happen the way they do, we wonder why He doesn't set us beside still waters a little more often.

I can't solve your anger or answer your questions.  All I can do is by faith point to the One who cannot lie, and His promise to give rest to those who are heavy laden.  The only conditions in the promise are that we first come, and second that we take His burdens, which He promises are easy.  Doesn't that sound better than our heavy trials? 

When you come to Him, just be honest.  Tell Him about all your unanswered questions and all your anger.  These are the things that show your deep need for His promise of rest.  By faith, however small, ask Him to bring you that rest.  Not because you deserve it (none of us do), but because you need it.  Commit to carrying whatever Jesus gives you to carry.

Then make a resolution with the Psalmist:  "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:  for Thou, Lord, only [as in only God does this] makest me dwell in safety."  Psalm 4:8

Again, that's where it starts.  It's easy to forget this familiar promise when we're struggling through a desert experience, but we can take God at His Word.  Jesus is there, through your most weary days and nights, holding out rest of soul and body, hoping you'll accept it.  Don't let your weariness blind you to His promise to take care of your need for rest.  Ask Him for protection from nightmares, or for wisdom in your lifestyle or bedtime routines, or for help with whatever it is that keeps you tossing and turning.

Then, don't be afraid to look at your life and ask what you might be able to do to help yourself settle down for a solid night's rest.  There's nothing faithless about living your life so you're not in direct opposition to your prayers (by doing things you know will make it hard for God to answer them).  Just as we would take care of a child's need for rest, we need to learn that it's acceptable,  appropriate, and important to take care of ours as well. 

For example, if you know you need to set a better evening routine for yourself, go again to the God who promised wisdom to all who ask in faith, and ask for help to make the changes you need to make for your nights go better.

If you're looking for ideas about simple things to do to get a better night's rest, I'd like to recommend a resource.  Easy Steps for Better Health by Shawn Boonstra and Fred Hardinge is one of the best little books on health I've read, and has an excellent chapter on sleep and ways to get better sleep.  You can order one here (new) for $3.97, or here for $.10 (used).  [I don't get anything from sales of the book--it's simply wonderful and an easy read so I thought I'd share.]

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  1. I am having problems with sleeping, but mine is because of having a hard time getting comfortable, being sore and hurting. I am getting better rest now but not back to normal yet. Hoping to figure out the problem soon and resolve it. It could just be another symptom of my "desert"
    God bless, Lisa :O)

  2. When scrolling up through your blog, and you have only the bottom portion of this picture in view, the bottom right-hand corner looks like a human eye. Amazing!

    Good reminder about getting to bed!


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