Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Sleep Well

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

Have you ever wondered why God designed human beings to need sleep?

We all sleep for about a third of our lives. So if we were to live for our threescore and ten, then around 23 years of our lives will be spent like dead people.

Just think of all the things we could do in those 23 years had God not designed us to need sleep.

There is surely no doubt that he could have created us with no need for sleep. So why did God imagine sleep?

He never sleeps!

So God must have thought the idea up out of nothing. He thought it up for his earthly creatures.

But why did God conceive the idea of sleep for us?

Perhaps a couple of Psalms provide a clue:

‘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 127:2 ESV)

According to this text sleep is a gift of love, and the gift is often spurned by anxious toil.

Peaceful sleep is the opposite of anxiety, and God does not want his children to be anxious, but to trust him. As Psalm 4:8 says,

‘In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe’. (Psalm 4:8 NLT)

It’s reasonable, therefore, to conclude that God made sleep as a continual reminder that we should not be anxious but should rest in him.

Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God, for ‘…he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps’. (Psalm 121:4 NLT)

But Israel will, and so do we, since we are not God.

Once a day God sends us to bed like patients with a sickness. The sickness is a chronic tendency to think we are in control and that our work is indispensable. To cure us of this disease God turns us into helpless sacks of sand once a day.

How humiliating to self-made men and women that we have to give up all control once a day, every day.

Sleep is a parable that God is God and we are mere human beings.

God handles the world quite nicely while we sleep; He is in control.

Sleep is like a broken record that comes around with the same message every day: ‘Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign’.

Let’s not miss the lesson.

God wants to be trusted as the great worker who never tires and never sleeps. He is not nearly so impressed with our late nights and early mornings as he is with the peaceful trust that casts all anxieties on him and sleeps.

So let’s follow Peter’s guidance in 1 Peter 5:6-7:

‘Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you’. (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Have a good week catching up on your sleep,

Pastor Barry

15th November 2009

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