Saturday, February 5, 2011

Learning How to Rest in the Lord

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. -Psalm 139:23, 24 (KJV) 

Are you the kind of person that has troubled falling asleep at night or does sleep come fairly easy?  If you are in the latter camp, rejoice and be glad, for countless people suffer from a terrible malady commonly known as insomnia.  Personally, I have never been afflicted with full-blown insomnia, but I used to have trouble falling asleep at night.  Part of the problem has been that I just simply enjoy being up late at night.  It’s peaceful and quiet, no phones are ringing, and there are few interruptions if I am reading or studying.  But that’s not the real reason I used to have trouble sleeping.  The real problem was that I always had too many thoughts bouncing around in my mind.  I would lie in bed at night and think of everything that was bothering me, all that I hadn’t gotten done that day, or whatever was waiting for me tomorrow.  No doubt many readers can relate to such anxious thoughts that leave us tossing and turning on our beds.  

These days I sleep better that ever.  So, what changed for me?  How did I go from having trouble sleeping to being able to drop off in a few minutes?  One reason is that I am getting older, but a greater reason stems from faith and attitude.  I have come to realize that each night I have to sleep, for this is the way that God created us.  Our bodies require a certain amount of rest every night or we cannot properly function.  When nighttime comes I have developed the habit of putting the day I have just lived and the one I will live tomorrow in God’s hands.  The previous day is over and there is nothing I can do to change that.  So, why not rest and be prepared for the next day?  Worry, fretting, and entertaining anxious thoughts will always hinder our sleep.  If we can learn to place ourselves in God’s hand, invite the Lord to calm our anxious thoughts, and remove from us anything that is ungodly, then we are on our way to proper rest. 

Is this to say that I have mastered this approach to sleep?  The answer is no.  Problems and stress still sometimes rob me of the rest I would like to enjoy.  But with each passing day we can learn to place those troubles in the Lord’s hands, knowing that He will give us rest.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart.”  I pray that often as I am drifting off to sleep.  Give that a try as a means to better rest. 

Jesus Christ lives, rules, and reigns, and He will give us rest in Him.  

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