Time For God: Day 20

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Psalm 127:2
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.

We drag our sluggish bodies through a broken, sleep-deprived world! The American Sleep Association reports 50-70 million US adults complain of sleep disorders. Work performance is negatively affected. 37.9% report helplessly falling asleep during the day—even while driving a car.

Some deprived sleepers gain weight; others lose it detrimentally. Fatigue and clumsiness frequently increase. Work quality and productivity plummet; so do working relationships. Focus blurs and problem-solving skills decline. Learning suffers; communicating becomes harder. Memory …what was I just about to say? Sleep is an uncommon luxury.  

Anxiety drives sleepless activity, lowering output. Fear of another’s judgment dominates the nervous heart. What if family or friends, your boss or colleagues, label you as less-than? What if you fail in some public way? Constant commotion crushes sleep. You toss and turn all night hoping to be sufficiently awake next day to produce results, to complete your action-list.

Pride is a vain slave to another’s expectations. You fear you are only as good as your last anxious performance. You are easily frustrated and filled with remorse. You eat on the run, set alarms an hour earlier, and labour late into the night. You work harder in order to relax more.

The Hebrew mind recalibrate's your life-work balance. The day begins each evening. Your first duty is to sleep. Overnight God governs His world without your assistance. You awake to greet the Lord; He welcomes you into activity that He began last night. You join Him now in the task of repairing His broken world. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows. As His beloved, God offers you His delicious gift of sleep.

Someone once quipped, Why bother to pray when you can worry? When has sleeplessness overtaken you? How will you rest in His love and relax in His care, today? When have you received God’s renewing gift of sleep? What insights can you offer another sleepless pilgrim?

Merciful Father, grant your beloved child your promised gift of sleep. Permit me tonight to receive restoring rest. Let me arise renewed and refreshed to work while it is still day. With open hands and a peaceful heart I rest myself in You. Amen

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