Over the holidays last Winter, our grandson spent his time away from the university in our home. He was experiencing all of the pressures attendant to his senior status. He was exhausted from late night study sessions, writing term papers, and maintaining a social life. He slept soundly for twelve hours most nights. I was a little envious. The passing of years now makes it unlikely that I can enjoy lengthy periods of uninterrupted sleep.
I now sleep in fits and starts, punctuated by a necessary bathroom trip or two during the night. Conditioned across many years, I also wake just before daylight on most days. These conditions could result in frustration; however, with the Lord’s help this situation can be turned to a positive. I now find strength and ‘rest’ during these night watches. The Psalmist expressed my feelings well: “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words. My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word. Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your ordinances.…” (Psalm 119:147-149)
I now see my sleep situation as filled with potential good. Like Joseph (Genesis 50:19), I can see that what seems meant for evil, the Lord can use for good. Nights when I have trouble sleeping can be special times of communion with the Lord. I anticipate the night watches. In the quietness, I can hear His voice. I have time to take my petitions to the Lord in an unhurried manner. I can experience His lovingkindness. In addition to all of this, He revives and refreshes my soul.
Do you have trouble sleeping? You don’t have to be a senior citizen like me to have trouble sleeping. People who are much younger than I may find themselves robbed of needed slumber. This can be due to job pressures, financial troubles, family woes, or physical problems. These circumstances can deeply trouble you and deprive you of rest. This situation has a strong negative potential. You can however, with the Lord’s help turn this into a real positive. In the night watches, turn to the one who said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and…
“YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
~ Brother Roy