Have you ever had one of those day, weeks, months, or years where you are running at break-neck, non-stop speed. You are so exhausted at the end of the day that you fall into bed expecting to sleep through the night waking up ready for the next day. But knowing everything that needs to be done tomorrow and trying to figure out how to get it all done keeps you awake. All this activity, anxiety, worry, and stress takes a toll on us and sends us careening toward burnout.
Every evening, millions of people crawl into bed and struggle either to go to sleep or stay asleep through the quiet hours of the night. What’s worse, lying awake during those dark and silent times can bring on a busy mind and anxious thoughts that make sleeping seem even more impossible. Instead of recharging and resting peacefully before the alarm rings, the early morning sunbeams are met with exhaustion and difficulty focusing.
I thank God that even with all the stuff that has gone on in my life including; divorce, multiple job losses resulting in multiple times of financial lack, a rebellious child, death of children, and finally the death of my wife after many years of depression and physical illness, I never had trouble sleeping at night. I never had trouble because I knew that after doing all that I could do, I had to leave the things out of my control to the One who is always in control.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Isaiah 45:5-7 NIV I am the Lord , and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord , and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord , do all these things.
Psalm 46:1-3 NIV God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
1 John 4:18 NIV There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
by Christina Vinson, from God's Peace for When You Can't Sleep
As you sink into bed tonight, exhausted, are you already thinking about tomorrow’s meetings, next week’s obligations, next month’s deadlines?
You’re anxious about tomorrow… and the next day… and the next.
Whether you’re a busy mom who’s worried about your child’s future, an overwhelmed college student in the throes of midterms, or a rising executive with demands pulling from every direction, it’s difficult not knowing what tomorrow will bring. This anxiety is something that keeps many people awake at night — but does it do any good?
One result of anxiety is that it can certainly make you feel productive. At least you’re keeping a running tally in your mind of things to do, scenarios that could go wrong, or new ideas to explore, right? But the problem is this: you can’t keep going all the time. Your mind and body need a break. You need a break. Your boss needs a break. Even the president needs a break sometimes.
The best thing you can do for yourself is take time to rest. True rest doesn’t look like collapsing into bed, nerves fried and adrenaline pumping, either. It looks like letting your mind, body, and soul rest in the palm of the Lord.
True rest always involves surrendering to God.
God doesn’t tell us to rest for His own good — He tells us to rest for our own good. God worked six days and rested the seventh. He was — and is — the mastermind behind the entire world, yet He took time to give Himself a break. To cease from working, to cease from creating, cease from doing.
Emulate the Lord’s pattern of work and rest tonight.
While you are in bed you can’t work efficiently and you certainly can’t get anything done. Nighttime calls for rest. There may be unforeseen challenges ahead tomorrow, and there might be things that have been left undone today. But the Lord tells us not to worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34).
Sink into your bed letting a wave of relief wash over you; tomorrow is not yet here. You have nothing on your agenda right now except for sleep.
Ask the Lord to lift the burden of anxiety off your shoulders.
As sure as the stars twinkling in the night sky, He will answer your request. As gently as the crickets sing throughout the evening, the Lord will come to you. Rest tonight, dear one. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. — Philippians 4:6
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. — Psalm 55:22
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. — Psalm 34:17 ESV
But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. — Leviticus 25:4 ESV
I come to You with a troubled, anxious heart, Lord. I ask You now to take away my anxiety and fear so that I can rest deeply tonight. Please answer my prayer quickly!
Excerpted with permission from God’s Peace for When You Can’t Sleep, copyright Thomas Nelson.
Philippians 4:4-7 NIV Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.