Are you getting enough sleep? Numerous articles alert us to the dangers of poor sleep. The following is information from an article entitled, “Get Enough Sleep”.
. . . poor sleep has been linked to significant problems, including:
*greater risk of depression and anxiety;
*increased risk of heart disease and cancer;
*reduced immune system functioning;
*weight gain; and
* greater likelihood of accidents.
The same article tells us that stress is a key reason for poor sleep:
Of course, it’s not easy to sleep when you’re feeling overwhelmed. In fact, nearly two-thirds of Americans say they lose sleep because of stress.
We need to learn from Jesus how to get a good sleep even in the midst of a storm:
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. (Mark 4:37–38 NIV)
For those of us who have read this passage many times, we may not be perplexed at the sight of Jesus obviously deep in sleep in the midst of the noise and movement of a perfect storm. How did He do it? Psalm 3 may give us a clue.
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
(Psalm 3:5–6 NIV)
If anyone should be stressed out it should be the Psalmist. He had tens of thousands of enemies assailing him on every side. Yet he was able to sleep when it was time to sleep and wake again the next day. Why was he so cool though he had so many enemies? Because he knew his Lord would sustain him.
Here then is a clue to how Jesus was able to sleep in the midst of a crazy storm. His complete trust in His Father. We are to learn from Him. No matter what our worries, we know we follow a Lord who can calm the storm; a God who is our Father. Confident in His faithful love, we too can sleep when it is time to sleep.
Of course we don’t develop a robust confidence in the Lord just before we hit the sack. It is a relationship we intentionally cultivate along the way, even as we intentionally cast our burdens to the Lord (1 Peter 5:7) when we lay down to sleep. I also find it is helpful to have a notebook and pen next to my bed. If things are on my mind, I jot them down in the notebook so I know I won’t forget them. This exercise also helps me put some distance between me and the problem. It also symbolises my passing the problem to the Lord.
There are many things that can worry us—out in the world and in our hearts. But we have a God who is bigger. Good night.