Saturday, August 04, 2007

A good night's sleep

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Jeremiah 31, 32, 33; Psalm 113

Jeremiah 31:23-26 (NIV)

23 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel says: “When I bring them back from captivity, the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these words: ‘The Lord bless you, O righteous dwelling, O sacred mountain.’ 24 People will live together in Judah and all its towns – farmers and those who move about with their flocks. 25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” 26 At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.

Good morning!

Do you struggle to get a good night’s sleep? I grew up in a family where sleeping was a disciplined ritual. As a child, I was expected to be in bed with my eyes closed by 8pm (9pm on weekends.) I wonder how many teenagers do that today! My Mother, God bless her heart, never ever let us sleep in. It’s no wonder I’m an early riser now. She set an alarm on Saturday morning and we were expected to be up and ready to move no later than 6:30am On school days, it was earlier, but on the weekends, 6:30 was IT. Sleeping in was only allowed when we were sick. I imagine this came from her years of responsibility in taking care of all the farm animals before heading off to school each day. My mother is 84 years young and I have a hard time getting her to sit down when she comes to visit me at my house. She always wants to be doing something productive. It makes me look like a total bum, just because I’d like to put my feet up for five minutes and she is always in constant motion. sharp.

My father never slept well. He insisted all of us go to bed early, but he was up very late every night. It was not uncommon for him to lie on the floor in our living room watching old reruns well into the early hours of the morning. He made it on very little sleep, God love him. I’m not sure how he managed to do that for so many years. He was another one who could not sit still. My mother complains that when she tries to go to bed at a certain time each night, she is awakened a short time later, and unable to go back to sleep for hours. She says her mind continues to work, even when her body wants to quit. Do you ever feel like that?

I believe we often hear God’s still, small voice, in the moments when our body finally relaxes and our minds clear of the day’s events. We slip into a restful state, when the Holy Spirit can capture our undivided attention. There are many who feel closest to the Lord when they are in bed dreaming. How does God speak to you?

Jeremiah’s sleep had been interrupted every night by the Lord. The messages God gave Jeremiah to speak were not pleasant; in fact, they were hard to swallow. The people had been walking in darkness and they didn’t even recognize it. We get so caught up in our day-to-day activities, that sometimes we miss the most important thing because our distractions keep us from seeing the truth. Jeremiah wasn’t sleeping well. And then he heard the Word of the Lord, offering hope for His people. They would one day be free from the things that hold them captive to sin. A day was coming when His people would live in the righteous dwelling of the Lord. They would live together in harmony, with hearts and hands focused upon praise, worship and thanksgiving to God. He promises to watch over His people, bringing refreshment and satisfaction to the road weary and faint-hearted ones. It was then that Jeremiah awoke from his dream, feeling fully rested and thankful to have had a pleasant night’s sleep.

Sleeping aids, counting sheep, drinking warm milk, reading boring books and pacing the floor, will never bring us the kind of rest we long for. If you are looking for a good night’s sleep, take the advice of our friend and prophet, Jeremiah. When we trust Him to carry us, we can let go of the frustrations that keep us awake at night. If you are struggling to sleep, ask God to give you a message of hope and comfort. When you confess your sins and ask the Lord of life to give you a brand new start, He promises to bring you out of captivity and grant you a good night’s rest.

And that is a true gift from above!

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: a good night’s sleep tonight. How long has it been since you have been able to lay it all down and truly rest in the arms of the Lord? He promises to refresh the weary soul. Come to Him today. Hand Him your burdens, and enjoy a long overdue siesta.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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