When God Withholds Sleep

How To Handle Restless Nights

It’s 2:40 AM. The red numbers glare at me through the darkness of the room. Taunting me to try to get back to sleep. As I toss the turn, trying to get comfortable, my mind clicks on like a rooster that just crowed. Before I know it my though are racing, trying to figure out the daily schedule, thinking about my children “are they okay?” “What I’m I going to cook for dinner?” Do I have time to finish a task.” or the difficult conversation I have with someone yesterday.

Eventually I’m left feeling exhausted and frustrated at the same time. Doesn’t God give sleep to his beloved? (Psalm 127:2) Why has this become a routine trial for me?

“One day our sleeplessness will be in exchanged for perfect rest in eternity.”

Sleeplessness has been the thorn in my flash for a handful of years. Somewhere in the midst of waking up in the night to nurse babies or care for my sick child or tend to my daughter who had a nightmare, my sleep cycles was altered. Being a parent trained my ear to wake up at the slightest noise. Once I’m up my mind turns on, and it’s hard to shut it back off.

Awake In The Night

Whether the cause is children, evening work shifts, or anxiety, the battle with sleeplessness is a common trial. Maybe you’ve tried natural remedies, exercise, limited screen reading, reading, and even prescription sleeping medicine to try to solve the problem. But most of the time it seems, nothing has a long-lasting effect. A frequent prayer of mine is or peaceful sleep, some nights that prayer is answered and I feel like a new woman when I sleep continuously for six or more hours. I’ve grown to be grateful for the good nights. But a majority of the time it’s a struggle that leaves me feeling exhausted and discouraged.

The words of Psalm 127:2 sting: “it is in vain that you rise up early and go to bed late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil: for He gives to His beloved sleep.” In my worst moments, I’ve questioned God’s love for me. Why would He make this promise and then allow me so many restless nights?

But what if God shows His love for us not on,y through the gift of sleep, but through the gift of sleeplessness? Would if He uses sleepless nights to draw us closer to Him? To depend on Him each moment of the day?

When Nighttime Falls

If you’ve struggled with setting your mind to rest and falling asleep at night, you’ve likely experienced some pre-bedtime anxiety. Another restless night could make it difficult to go about your day with clarity of mind for a meeting at work, or driving to the grocery store. Sometimes we might think is it ever worth going to bed at all.

But as nighttime falls, God already knows our needs. Jesus reminds us not to be anxious about our life (Matthew 6:25-34) and that includes the next eight hours. If God cares for the tiniest creatures around us, how much more will He care for us! Worrying profits nothing, but robs us of peace, joy, and often more sleep.

Our hope isn’t in a perfect eight hours of sleep, but in a faithful God who we can trust to sustain us the next day,”

God already knows how many hours of sleep we need in order to function the next day. He is our good and faithful Father. We can trust Him with our sleep, or lack thereof. We can lie down to rest, entrusting ourselves to the One who never slumbers nor sleeps Psalm 131:4), and asking Him to fulfill for is the words of David, “ In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, I Lord, make me dwell in safety.

The Midnight Battle

If you’re like me. We usually have no trouble falling asleep. The events of the day leave me completely exhausted at bedtime. It’s those middle-of-the-night noises that rouse me awake and get my mind running like an engine of a car. What can we do in such moments? We’ve played for a good night rest, but here we are again, awake.

It’s easy to wake up and begin to try solving our biggest problems, or at least the dinner menu for the next week. Why not instead pray and ask for help? Rather than letting our minds carry us away from our much-needed sleep, perhaps praying that Od would help us entrust our worries to Him. And whether sleep comes or not, we can meditate on His promises instead of dwelling on our problems.

Psalm 121:1-2 says “I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come from? When we open our eyes in the middle of the night, we might ask the same question. From where does our help come from in the darkest hours of the night? Our help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Our hope isn’t in the perfect eight hours sleep but a faithful God who we can trust to sustain us the next day. He promises to give us strength in our weakness and provide us with His all-sufficient grace (1 Corinthians 12.9).

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