Opin’ide

I was enjoying my conversation with a fellow Eastern Kentuckian in a doctor’s office waiting room. The lady’s dialect was unmistakable and peppered with mountain idioms. Because I hail from Eastern Kentucky and love the vernacular, I am familiar with many mountain sayings, but this conversation yielded a new one. In sharing that her mother was not well, my new friend stated that her mom was troubled by ‘opin-ide’. She noticed I was perplexed so she repeated: “She’s has opin’ide.” I thought perhaps her mother’s condition had to do with opioids. We do have a terrible problem in the hills with opioid addiction. She then said, “You know – she can’t sleep, she’s  o p e n – e y e d. When she tries to sleep, her eyes stay open and she remains wide awake.” I tucked the phrase ‘opin-ide’ in my mind for later reflection.

All of us have experienced sleepless nights at one time or another. Fighting off stress, worry, and anxiety can become a nightly battle even when we manage to go to bed early. It makes it difficult to get the mental peace we need, because physical rest often serves as a forerunner to mental peace. The lack of rest feels like an enemy, and to some extent it is. The dysfunction of a fallen world guarantees that we will always have an abundance of things to keep us awake.

If you have any of the following underlying conditions, you may be at risk for opin’ide:

  • Stress – The inability to unplug from ‘stressors’ robs us of sleep. With all kinds of screens, tablets, and smart devices at arm’s length at any given moment, there is no longer separation among our work, home, and social realms. Constant media coverage of things like disease pandemics, terrorism, race relations, and domestic violence fills our minds.
  • Fear – Whether it is actual fear of something that could realistically happen or imagined fear of something that only might happen, this is one of the biggest things that keeps people up at night. Fear might prevent you from falling asleep at all, or it might take over and keep you up once you have awakened.
  • Regrets – Things we’ve done or things we should have done and failed to do can also haunt us. We lay awake replaying incidents over and over as if hoping for a different outcome.
  • Insomnia – As strange as it may seem, another area that robs us of sleep is simply the worry around sleeplessness itself. If you have struggled with insomnia, chances are you also deal with this stress around bedtime. There is now a mental block around going to sleep as you anticipate it being a struggle.

If you think you may be suffering from opin’ide, try this sure remedy:

God’s promises can be a real help to those suffering with opin’ide. We need to remind ourselves that it is God’s will that we lie down and sleep peacefully and that it is His desire that we rest securely in His safety.  Often that is all the encouragement a person needs to nod off in heavenly peace. God’s word assures us that:

  • “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2, ESV).
  • “He will not let your foot slip. He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:3-4, NKJV).
  • In peace, I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8, NKJV).
  • “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul” (Matthew 11:28-29, NKJV).

When you find yourself ‘opin-ide’, be encouraged that God is watching over you. He never sleeps. He is always watching over you and working in the situation that troubles you. When you recognize God’s watch care, it can calm your soul enough to close your eyes and sleep.

You Don’t Have To Be Opin’ide!

~ Brother Roy

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