“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
In the middle of the night, a man named George was pacing back and forth in his room, unable to sleep. This woke his wife, who asked him why he couldn’t sleep. He replied, “You know that thousand dollars I borrowed from Bob next door? Well it’s due tomorrow, and I don’t have it, and I’m anxious and can’t sleep.” His wife said, “Honey, I have the solution.” She opened up the window and yelled to the house next door. “Bob, wake up!” A light went on in the house next door and Bob stuck his head out of his window. She continued, “You know that thousand dollars my husband owes you? Well he doesn’t have it!” Then she closed her window and turned to her husband. “There, now let him pace the floor and you go to sleep.”
Have you ever wondered why God designed the body to need sleep? Eight hours of sleep each night is a third of each day. Just think about how much more we could be accomplishing for God if we didn’t have to stop and sleep. As the Creator, it was within His power to make humans without the need for sleep. We are created in His image; and He never sleeps. So why did He imagine sleep for His earthly creatures?
Psalm 127:2 says that sleep is a gift from God to His beloved. And often we reject this gift with anxious toil. Think about it…peaceful sleep is the opposite of anxiety. When we are anxious, we often cannot sleep, much less sleep peacefully. God does not want His children to be anxious. He wants us to trust Him so much that we fall asleep peacefully every night. Perhaps sleep is intended by our Creator to be a continual reminder to trust Him and rest in Him.
As humans, most of us have a chronic tendency to think we are in control…that the work we do is indispensable. But once a day, God sends us to bed, forcing us to give up all control to the only One who, “will neither slumber nor sleep,” (Psalm 121:4). While a hemisphere sleeps the message is repeated, “Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign.”
Sleep is a daily reminder that God is God and that we are not Him. Our Creator is not nearly as impressed with our late nights and early mornings as He is with the peaceful heart who trusts Him, casts all anxieties on Him, and sleeps.
Father, Thank You for the gift of sleep. It is a reminder that I can trust You in all ways and at all times. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.