Monday, March 7, 2005

Missing Sleep

by Donna L. Watkins

© Donna L. Watkins - Male Mallard Duck
More than 35 million Americans suffer from long-lasting insomnia, with 20 to 30 million others experiencing shorter-term sleeplessness. One in four Americans takes some kind of medication for sleep. There is even a condition called, "Worry Insomnia."

Why are we missing so much sleep?

The Word tells us that we are to "be anxious for nothing" and yet we take precious time from our lives to worry over things that we have no control over. What use does worrying serve? None good!

Do you think all of the evil and chaos in the news means that God has left His throne? That he no longer protects us? No! God still holds the reins of this world where humans bring about so much destruction in their own and each other's lives.

God is still the Master! This should give you peace. Matthew 14:27 says, "Do not be afraid; just believe." (Mark 5:36) We must learn to trust in Him. I like this segment of a poem and it's a good one to keep by your bedside and to memorize if you have problems with sleeplessness:

"Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;
God's hands will still the Tempter's sweep -
God's hands, not yours; be still and sleep."

It's true a lot of horrible things happen, and we do not understand them, and we certainly can't stop them even if we spend our lives worrying, but we can obey the Word given to us. We can trust in Him. We can believe that all things work for good in our lives if we love God. We can let our life in His hands and believe Him - He loves us - He knows best.

What is allowed into our lives is truly for our good, but we will not be comforted by this unless we believe He loves us. We must believe that at all times.

We love our children even when we have to discipline them. We know it hurts them - and it hurts us, but we know what training they need. We do it because we love them. If we don't do it, they become a problem for society and others around them. We do them good even though in their eyes [and little behinds] it seems bad.

Don't give into despair and worry. Rest in His peace. Jesus said in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." We must take it just as we do salvation. It's a gift. We can live and walk in peace, but we must choose it by believing.

The Adversary would love for us to worry our lives away, lose sleep and be physically and emotionally exhausted so there is no good fruit from us. Don't do it! Picture the devil when you lay awake worrying - he's laughing at your despair. Then look upward and see Jesus offering His peace to you.

Remember Proverbs 3:24, "When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet."

Consider these words from Madame Guyon: "Hopelessness constricts and withers the heart, rendering it unable to sense God's blessings and grace. It also causes you to exaggerate the adversities of life and makes your burdens seem to heavy for you to bear. Yet God's plans for you, and His ways of bringing about His plans, are infinitely wise."

Trust in Him. Even if there's nobody else in your life that you can trust, you can trust Him!

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