Last year, there was one night in particular in which I found myself struggling to sleep.
Now that I think about it, I may’ve blogged about it – how I was in this state between awake and asleep. How I wasn’t able to really get to sleep without listening to some gospel music, and praying that the Lord would just put me to sleep already since I had work the next morning.
Well, with the new year here, I’ve experienced two more nights like this, and it’s honestly quite troubling. The last time I can remember ever struggling with sleep was the fall semester of my sophomore year in college, and it was just as frustrating then as it is now.
I’m trying to avoid complaining because I have friends who’ve struggled with sleepless nights longer than I have, and I don’t want to be insensitive to the frustration they’ve endured. But it doesn’t make my experiences any less exhausting (no pun intended), and I’ll be honest, a part of me is a little afraid to go to sleep nowadays, afraid I actually won’t fall asleep as easily as I used to.
This morning, I thought about how, despite my lack of sleep and constant restlessness, I was thankfully not as tired as I thought I would be. And God definitely showed up as I read Psalm 3 as part of my morning devotions. A part of a verse in this psalm is actually lightly engraved on the inside of one of the rings I always wear. It was a ring given to me during the fall semester of my sophomore year college by my Pa (my stepdad), who told me about some specific verses in Psalm 3 to go to after I expressed to him my trouble in sleeping. And the comfort was still there as I read the same verse this morning…
“I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.” – Psalm 3:5 (ESV)
Even though this psalm is talking about David running from his own son Absalom, and how the Lord continued to protect him even in sleep, I can still pertain to David. During my sophomore year, I was dealing with some major academic, social, and mental stress, and, since I have been a well-known worrier, all of those things were affecting my sleep patterns. Reading this verse reminded me that the Lord knew those situations, and was working in every aspect of those situations, even as I slept, and that I had nothing to worry about because He would sustain me. He would give me peace enough to lull me to sleep, and the grace, mercy, and strength to wake me up again in the morning.
And now, as I struggle again with sleeping once again, I am grateful for that lesson I learned during my sophomore year, and for the sweet reminder in Psalm 3.
Not only was I reminded in Psalm 3, but I was given a few verses in Proverbs 3 this morning as well. I had to actually stop and re-read the verses several times, because I was blown away at how the Lord would speak to me in the same time frame through His Word to just reassure me…
“My son, do not lose sight of these – keep sound wisdom and discretion and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” – Proverbs 3:21-24 (ESV)
A set of instructions that follows with a promise if the instructions are obeyed: to not lose sight of wisdom and discretion, and the Lord will grant me peace – in the journey AND in sleep. Hallelujah! It was only a little part of a verse, but reading it brought peace to my mind, heart, and soul.
I wrote all this to give a reminder to anyone who’s struggling with something – maybe it’s also sleepless nights – that the Lord truly does care about it, and about you. About the things that seem so minute compared to other things going on in the world right now. That He will perfect the things that concern you and me. That He will speak little promises to His children at the exact time He knows we need comfort and reassurance.
The reminders and promises in God’s Word don’t necessarily guarantee automatic resolutions to our struggles, problems, and worries. But they do open us up to the peace of God; the assurance He gives that we are not alone through those things.
Am I still a little nervous to go to sleep? Of course I am. But I go to sleep reminding myself of those verses, those promises. Reminding myself that, even if I can’t get to sleep in the time I want to, the Lord is still good, He’s still working on me, and I can still spiritually and mentally rest in His peace even if I’m not physically resting the way I want to.
Thank you, Jesus.