Posts Tagged: sleep

The Night Watchman

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing. (ESV).

Turning My Page

I couldn’t sleep last night, so at 2 am, I gave up. Having a lot of work to do today, I ran out to get my computer charger from the car but didn’t make it past my front steps. The sky greeted me with brilliant constellations. Suddenly the weariness washed away, and I was wide awake with the pleasure of God’s company. I put my arms out in worship. Thank you, Lord, for the stars that remind me you are near.

 

Turning Your Page

You won’t always be able to sleep. Depression, grief, troubles, pain, and an enemy that seeks to crush God-gifted rest can wreak havoc for weeks, months, and even years. But if you remain open to the God of possibility, prayers in the night for others struggling, reading of the Psalms and crying out like David, and noticing God’s goodness in creation are constant refreshments.

 

Lord, I am weary. I don’t even have words for how much I long for perfect rest. Help me to take hold of your goodness to me and on behalf of others in the night.

Peace Peace: Resting in God’s Promise

” The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3 BSB).

It is now 1:51 in the morning and I have given up on sleep. So I came downstairs to meditate on scripture and pray. This as my go-to habit when I can’t sleep. The time has been sweet, refreshing my spirit, and reveals so much about myself and God.

The Lord prompted me to share with you step by step, as it is happening, what my time looks like.

Supplies:

  • Bible
  • Writing Utensils (Highlighter, Pen)
  • Online Commentary
  • Journal
Meditating on Scripture

Steps:

  • Read through the first time without notes
  • Highlighted verses that stood out to me
  • Wrote out thoughts or questions in margins (can be done in a journal as well)
  • Looked up parts I didn’t understand
  • Looked for context words (i.e. lots of battle terms)
  • Prayed for understanding throughout, for myself, and for you
  • prayed for rest

Perfect Peace=Perfect Trust
(What I learn about God and myself in each verse)

  • God’s Character/My Character
  • Our Salvation/Strong City
  • Open Gates/Faithful
  • Keeps in Peace/Steadfast Mind
  • Rock Eternal/Trust Lord Forever
  • Humbles Prideful/The Oppressed Win
  • Upright/Smooth Path
  • His Judgment Teaches Righteousness/Student
  • Worthy of Praise/Wait, Obey, Know Him
  • Majesty/ Experience Evil Because of God’s Grace for All Mankind
  • Authority/Protected From Enemies
  • Establishes Peace/Open to His Good Things
  • Lord and Ruler/ Honor His Name No Matter Who Rules Over Me
  • Destroys Oppressor/Temporary Suffering
  • Glorified Through the Righteous/Repent and Cry Out
  • Disciplines the Wicked/I Suffer If I Do Not Do What is Right or Bring Salvation to Others

Questions:

  • What does “perfect peace” mean? vs 3
  • What is the significance of a upraised hand? vs 11
http://www.biblehub.com

Lest you be intimidated by the fact that I am looking up the Hebrew translation of the verses, realize this, I love languages. I am a word girl. We lose some depth of meaning through our English translation, so I try to look at the original. This is a desire God placed in me as an aspect of my delight in scripture. Reading the original aids in my understanding. By no means do you have to do this, and I would actually caution, anyone beginning to read scripture for the first time to keep it simple.

At the core, my basic reading pattern looks like this:

  • Read
  • Question
  • Apply

Indeed, the Hebrew revealed something I didn’t see before. “Perfect peace” could literally be translated “peace peace”. By doubling up, the writer is implying this is complete, without a shadow of a doubt peace. It doesn’t come from man building security on high. It comes from God fortifying our lives, protecting us day and night, and trusting him to do what is right for us.

God has been chiseling away at the hard places in me where I lean on my own understanding and don’t trust him (i.e. my daughter’s health) and revealing over and over his trustworthiness.

Going back to my list again, what developed as I read is the following:

  • Read–God’s actions my response (looked for in each verse)
  • Question– What is the significance of God’s hand being raised? (I figure a kingly gesture of judgment, like a gavel)
  • Apply–God is trustworthy in my family’s health. Run to him for healing and direction. He will not let me down. Rest in his faithfulness.

Blessing and and peace peace dear brothers and sisters.

Insomnia’s Lullaby

Sleep sacrifices itself,

nervously walking the halls of your

mind, jingling uneasy keys of security. Sensing

a breach, depression silently

intrudes, slithering around

restless souls, squeezing sincere

serenity from the sheets

of sanity. Until you surrender

to the venom of its lullaby.


 

P.S. I know insomnia well. Some of my earliest memories are severe nightmares and lying awake all night. I share this struggle with you because the desperation for sleep can lead to impulsiveness, and choices that a mind refreshed by sleep would not make. Even still my hope is in the Lord.

I don’t know why he has allowed this thorn in my flesh to remain. Maybe it is to encourage you in a moment of hopelessness! Even while I suffer I will turn this page, and remember that God makes each day new. You too are longing mind, body and soul for rest and may be tempted to, or, already are attempting to self medicate to attain sleep. Do not fight this battle alone. Turn the page on this night, with me! Lean hard into Christ, who was so tired he fell asleep on a boat in the middle of a storm. Like him, trust God to get you through this storm. My prayers are with you. Here are some scriptures to meditate on as we lay our weary heads on our pillows:

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are
steadfast, because they trust in you.

Mark 4:39 waves, “Silence! Be still!” The wind sank, and a perfect calm set in. He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still

Further Bible Verses

 

 

 

 

“To Lie Passive in His Hands.”

“For so he giveth his beloved sleep.” — Psalm 127:2

In my last post I spoke of not striving, but abiding in Christ for what I lack. I may sit here a while, as the Lord seems to have something for me here. Today I stumbled upon a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled, The Peculiar Sleep of the Beloved.

God why haven’t you removed this thorn from my flesh so that I am energized to glorify You? I try to understand why I struggle to sleep, or feel rested. Many of you understand insomnia at the deepest level. Diet changes help some, keeping a sleep routine is positive, but nothing I do results in the deep level of rest my mind and body are desperate for. I strive to sleep. Both Spurgeon and the Psalmist remind us God gives sleep to his beloved, no striving necessary.

Jesus did not get much sleep throughout his ministry, but was able to sleep in a boat during a storm while his disciples panicked.  Or how Peter could sleep, chained between two guards, or many men and women of faith, who faced certain death could rest before their execution.

There are so many aspects I love in Spurgeon’s sermon, but of course poetry speaks to me the most. He quotes Madam Guyon (A French Mystic, and amazing Christian influence of her time).

To me tis equal, whether love ordained,

My life or death, appoint me pain or ease;

My soul perceives no real ill in pain,

In ease or health, no real good she sees.

One good she covets, and that good alone,

To choose thy will, from selfish bias free,

And to prefer a cottage to a throne,

And grief to comfort, if it pleases thee.

That we should bear the cross is thy command —

Die to the world, and live to sin no more;

Suffer unmoved beneath the rudest hand,

As pleased when shipwrecked, as when safe on shore.

Are you shipwrecked like me? Do you look at the ship, tossed and smashed again and again as equal to the life on calm seas? I am honestly not pleased with my circumstances, I don’t fully trust God yet in all things. I am asking God to help me with my unbelief and he is answering! Rest dearly beloved, as a free gift. He will not let us falter in his love!

Grow to do one thing, and do it well. Abide (live in) His love for you. Amen!

Grief in Nightmares

I don’t sleep much, and when I do it is filled with nightmares. I don’t need a Halloween, my eyes are already pried open to the horrors of life. Feeling pretty down right now.

I dreamed this week that I was in a pool swimming and everything was bright and cheerful, but there was this constant darkness I  strained to hold at bay. Suddenly Jonathan appeared. All he wanted to do was swim with us, but I wanted desperately to talk to him. We got out the pool and Jonathan was trying to explain why he died. It made perfect sense as he was telling me, but I don’t remember what he said and I wish I could remember.

Free Gift

Embrace hope in dark places.

Get three free printables of hope and encouragement when you sign up for my monthly newsletter.

.
Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.