Sleep: Part 2
The best way to treat stress is sleep. The best way to get ready for the tasks of tomorrow is sleep. Yet, sometimes we can't sleep because our minds are racing with left-over stress from the day and pre-stress for tomorrow. (Yes, there is such a thing as pre-stress.)
You may find yourself waking up with worry some nights. When this is the case, remember these verses:
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
We should stop working and go to sleep. Because God, who never sleeps, can work for us all night.
Psalm 121 says that while we sleep he "keeps us.” Being literally translated from the Hebrew, this means he does the work of a security guard.
And he's not just our guard. He's also our father, our king, and our helper. Whatever he does, he does it around the clock. While we sleep, God is working on our behalf, getting us ready for whatever the next day holds and tying up the loose ends from the previous day.
When I try to put my daughter to sleep, she freaks out. She thinks she's missing out on something - that there’s more for her to do. But there’s not. In fact, part of the reason I put her to sleep is because there is more for me to do for her.
After I put her to bed, I work. I go downstairs and clean up some of her toys, I might put her clothes out for the next day, and I get online to pay some bills so that she stays comfortable. Before she wakes up, I queue up her Disney Junior shows, cut the crust off her bread, and I pour her some cereal.
Before finally falling asleep, she tosses, turns, and tries to sneak out of her room, fearing she's missing something, but in reality all she's missing is an opportunity to reset herself for another day I'm setting up for her.
I think you know where I’m going with this. When we toss, turn, and check our phone until the early morning we miss out on an opportunity to reset ourselves for another day that God is setting up for us.
One remedy that I’ve found helpful I found at turningthepage.info. Barry, the writer, suggested keeping a notebook by your bed. Before you lay down, sit on the edge of the bed and write down everything you know is coming the next day. Ask God to start working on all of these tasks for you now, trusting that he who keeps you will not slumber nor sleep.
When you’ve gotten through everything, then (and only then) lay down with (hopefully) a sense of completion that eases your mind. Consider the notebook like a lockbox. Your difficulties for tomorrow are locked away inside. God will get to them now. You’ll get to them tomorrow.