Sleep is a gift, designed to help our bodies rest and repair from daily wear and tear. Like David, we thank God for the ability to sleep soundly each night, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe” – Psalm 4:8 (NLT).
But there are times we suffer from insomnia and have difficulty falling asleep. Our sleep is disrupted by burdened hearts or minds preoccupied with worry – be it over our children, work situations, or a difficult relationship. We identify with Job’s friend, Eliphaz, when he says, “Amid disquieting dreams in the night, when deep sleep falls on people, fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake” – Job 4:13-14 (NIV).
In the stillness of the night, our feelings of loneliness and helplessness are magnified, causing us to be gripped by fear. We toss and turn in bed, trying in vain to sleep because our minds are active and distressed. We can relate to an emotionally drained David, “I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with tears” – Psalm 6:6 (NLT).
In dealing with the anguish and doubts, we need not feel alone. We can choose to focus on God and dwell on His unfailing love. The psalmist writes, “I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely” – Psalm 63:6-8 (NLT).
As we meditate on God, we are reminded of His goodness and faithfulness. He gives us a song in our troubled hearts to sing to Him. This is a song of prayer to our God who knows what we are wrestling with, and assures us that He loves and cares for us regardless. In that moment of release, we feel His strong embrace.
The next time your heart is heavy and you struggle to find rest, turn your focus towards God. Read a psalm, recall a song/hymn of praise and sing to Him. Pray and surrender your burdens to God, and meditate on the attributes and promises of God.
Our nights may sometimes be long, but they need not be lonely. We can rest well knowing that God will lull us to sleep with His unfailing love and keep us safe and sound. Each morning we wake up praising God because “I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me” – Psalm 3:5 (NLT).
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Lam Kok Hiang has over 30 years of experience in full-time Christian vocational ministry. He holds a MA (Biblical Studies) from Dallas Theological Seminary and has led Cru Singapore as National Team Leader since 2006. An avid runner, Kok Hiang shares a love for books with his wife, Sharon. Together, their desire is to see young leaders rise up in local churches and missions agencies across Asia.
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