“The Promise of Sleep”
A friend of mine sent me this article after hearing about Olivia’s desire to party at four in the morning. At first when I read it, I didn’t really connect with it and felt the application from the verse below was a bit of stretch. But throughout the day, God kept bringing some the insights back to my mind and then I could tell the article affected me because my prayer changed as I rocked Olivia before bed that night. Instead of, “Please let her sleep ’til 6am” it shifted to “I know you know what I need so if she wakes up early, please give me what I need to make it through the day on less sleep.” This shift has freed me from feeling resentment when I was being pulled from my beloved bed in the middle of the night and has brought me back to dependence on God to provide for my needs.
As I’ve thought about it, I think this mindset is how God wants me to approach much of my life. I believe He desires us to ask specifically (please sleep ’til 6!) but also to keep our hands open trusting that God knows best what we need. When He gives differently than we ask, it’s an opportunity for us to trust Him that His heart toward us is good (but believe me, I know this is easier said than done). Maybe you’re not in the throws of sleep regression with an infant, but you need this reminder that God loves you dearly, sees you in your situation, and will give you what you need to endure whatever you’re walking through right now. That truth brings great comfort to me especially at 4am!
The Promise of Sleep
By Chris Turack
“It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.”
“As a mother, I am thankful that the Lord put His promise of sleep (Psalm 127:2) in the verse preceding His reminder that children are a heritage and a reward (Psalm 127:3). I am learning that when God’s Word says, “He giveth His beloved sleep,” I can trust Him and rest in that promise, no matter what the outward circumstances seem to indicate.
When I am up in the middle of the night with teething babies or sick children, I can cheerfully meet their needs knowing that this is my appointed task for the hour and that God has promised to provide for my rest. I don’t have to fret over “lost sleep”, for it is not lost, God has sovereignly chosen to give me less sleep tonight.
Trusting in His provision eliminates worry about “How am I going to get through tomorrow without having had a good night’s sleep?” God has promised to provide for my needs, including my need for sleep (Psalm 127:2). I can trust for Him to be faithful, for along with sleep He will provide grace for tomorrow.
How do I fail in this area? On nights when I am anxious about being well-rested the next day, I usually become irritable, selfish, and resentful. My service to my needy little ones suffers. I am anything but cheerful; I’m more concerned with my own needs than theirs, and consequently, I lose the opportunity to show love to my children (Titus 2:4). Worst of all, my sin separates me from God’s blessing on my sleep (Isaiah 59:2), and I find I do have a terrible day the next day.
How much sweeter the outcome when I accept each “awakening” as God’s will for me, serve my little ones gently and lovingly, spend this unexpected time in prayer, and leave tomorrow in God’s hands, where it belongs. Then God can bless my sleep, and I remain in fellowship with Him. My children benefit, and by God’s grace, I become more of the gentle mother I desire to be. Truly His ways are best.
My prayer is that God will help us to apply this lesson every night that we are needed, and to willingly and cheerfully serve the blessings He has entrusted to our care, submitting to His will for our lives, even in the middle of the night.”