It’s a little late, but here it is: the Sunday Spark. (Maybe I could call it the “Sunday Snippet”? What do you think?) Anyways, I have always been a bit of a night owl and will occasionally get into a cycle where I’m going to bed at 12 or 1…or 2 a.m.! This weekend was another one of those times. In spite of spending the better part of my Friday and Saturday in the kitchen, I was too wired to sleep! For some reason, our daughter was in the same boat. So there we were, unable to sleep and reading at 2:00 in the morning.
Every night, before I turn out the light, I read my Bible (I’m doing the “read your Bible in 90 days”. I’ve been doing it for over 7 months, now–but–at least I am doing it, right?) and I also read that day’s “Our Daily Bread”. If you don’t know what that is, it is a little booklet that many churches supply for free. It covers 3 months at a time and, for each day of those months, has a little devotional. I recently decided to start doing them in the morning, rather than the evening, but I hadn’t done it Saturday morning, so, Saturday night it was. Although, I guess technically it was Sunday morning. Anyways, this was the Saturday, January 12, 2013 entry:
The Gift Of Sleep
Genesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17
Sleep is essential for good health. Scientists don’t know exactly why we need it but they know what happens when we don’t get enough. We put ourselves at risk of premature aging, weight gain, and diseases ranging from colds and flu to cancer. What God accomplishes in our bodies while we drift off to dreamland is nothing short of miraculous. While we do nothing, God replenishes our energy, rebuilds and restores our cells, and reorganizes information in our brains.
The reasons for not getting enough sleep are many, and some we can’t solve, but the Bible indicates that overwork should not be one of them (Ps. 127:2). Sleep is a gift from God that we should receive with gratitude. If we’re not getting enough, we need to find out why. Are we rising early and staying up late to earn money to acquire things we don’t need? Are we involved in ministry efforts that we think no one else is capable of doing?
I’m sometimes tempted to believe that the work I do when I’m awake is more important than the work God does while I sleep. But refusing God’s gift of sleep is like telling Him that my work is more important than His.
God does not want anyone to be a slave to work. He wants us to enjoy His gift of sleep.
Soft and healing and wide,
I rest my soul in its comfort,
And in its calm I abide. —Long
If we do not come apart and rest awhile, we may just plain come apart. —Havner
Well, now. That woke me up! Talk about being convicted! I called my still-awake daughter in and read it to her. This particular section really got to me: “I’m sometimes tempted to believe that the work I do when I’m awake is more important than the work God does while I sleep. But refusing God’s gift of sleep is like telling Him that my work is more important than His.”
Yes. Someone was definitely speaking to me. I need to get my butt to bed at more reasonably hours. I’ve been praying for more productive days, which seem more productive when I get up and going earlier. That whole “early to bed, early to rise (but not too early)” thing. Then there’s all those health benefits. So, I am going to make a conscious effort to be unconscious earlier than I have been. Sleep is good, but late, late nights are not. I already knew all this, but I had never thought about it from the perspective that it is God’s gift to us and that I was putting myself and my work–whether it’s watching tv, cleaning, reading, or being on the computer–ahead of Him and His work. Yes, I will be working on this.
Sometimes, these little daily bread devotions can really speak to you! If you don’t go to church or go to a church that doesn’t offer these little booklets, they also have website that you can access through here. You can get a daily email, read it onsite, order the booklet for free, get an e-book, and they have an app for it, too. They also have other devotionals and lots of other information, offered in many different languages (goes back to that whole Tower of Babel incident). Enjoy and God bless you as you go through this week!