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Last night I had a “sleep study” at Hershey Medical Center. This was ordered by my pulmonologist as a result of the asthma attack I had this summer that landed me in the emergency room. I won’t know the results for three weeks but can say, though I had a sleep number bed, it is much nicer to sleep at home! My asthma condition has improved drastically with two new medications I have been on for a month which in turn has alleviated some of the issues regarding my sleep.
Much research has been done on the subject of sleep. Studies are conducted daily in hospital clinics for the sleep-deprived in our society. Many reading our message today will identify. Last night while waiting to enter my “bedroom” for the study I conversed with a man who had Narcolepsy, a sleep disorder causing overwhelming and uncontrollable drowsiness. These sudden sleep attacks may occur during any type of activity at any time of the day. It’s a dangerous condition to have. Of course many others suffer to varying degrees with insomnia. I have a friend who goes days without sleeping, which causes many other health problems.
I am not sure I have ever given much thought to this universal aspect of life. In considering things we have in common we all eat, drink, breathe and sleep. My “sleep study” prompted a consideration of a “sleep study” in the Bible.The first Biblical reference to sleep was when God made Eve, “the Lord God caused the man (Adam) to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh” (Genesis 2:21). This was a one-time event!
Numerous times God causes a withholding of sleep to get someone’s attention such as Nebuchadnezzar, “In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep” (Daniel 2:1). Or in Esther when, “That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him” (Esther 6:1). We should consider this when we are unable to sleep.Rather than grow in frustration at our lack of sleep we could inquire of the Lord, “Do you have something you want to speak to my heart about?”Sleep can be a time of peaceful assurance.“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me” (Psalm 3:5) and “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8). “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24). During a storm even when seasoned fisherman were in a panic, “Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion” (Mark 4:38). Peter “the night before Herod was to bring him to trial, was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance” (Acts 12:6). Sleep is a blessed consequence of hard work.“The sleep of a laborer is sweet” (Ecclesiastes 5:12).
What a blessed source of assurance comes from realizing, “Indeed, He (God) who watches over Israel (and all His creation) will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4).
Finally sleep is used in at least two other ways figuratively:
2) Describing a careless spiritual condition.“So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). This was demonstrated by the disciples both literally and figuratively in the Garden Of Gethsemane. “And He (Jesus) came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?” (Mark 14:37).
Today God is in control in your life and in mine. Real peace and assurance is a result of a deep, abiding knowledge of His control. Are you going through a storm or are you enduring a “trial”? Are you experiencing sleepless nights due to worries, busy schedules, or physical infirmities? Remember, God is in control!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
“I Will Lie Down And Sleep – Psalm 4:8” Video Steve Green and children Brooksyne’s note: This song was on our playlist (as they call it today) back when Ester was a young child. We enjoyed the two CD’s Steve Green sang with children, “Hide ‘Em In Your Heart” Scripture songs. I also taught this to many children in our churches. But it also was a song that I hid deep in my heart, sang aloud when I was lacking peace and rest, and found the words very reassuring.
“Peace of God” VideoFinally today: