The Christian life is a progression of events that produce a strengthening of our faith. The Christian walks with God in an increasingly trusting way. We get stronger as we trust Him, because we have no personal strength to walk in His spiritual way. We have no inclination either, but as we see more clearly who we follow, and experience His love and power, we seek Him more. As David killed the lion with his bare hands so we get strength to put ferocious enemies away from us. David killed a bear. He grabbed its hair and God gave the know-how and strength to know where to punch. He was spiritually set up to face the huge attack of Goliath. David ran towards the giant and killed him with a small stone and Goliath’s own sword.
It is one thing to face mortal enemies in the light of day. It is quite another to have to contend with them in the greying moments of unconsciousness. There is a small and uncertain space between awake and asleep, where the body relaxes and the mind stops coming up with thoughts. Our whole being sinks into somnambulant slumber and we have the necessary sleep we need. We need it like food and drink. We cannot cope very long without it.
Getting over the sleep stream to unconsciousness can be tricky. Some minds go there very easily and others just won’t lie still. To allow your mind to switch off is a matter of confidence. If your thoughts are being negative, you want to hold onto the ability to control them. This inhibits the surrender necessary for sleep. If your thoughts are lively and you are thinking of things that are happy, you don’t want to surrender them either. In some ways it is a matter of discipline and keeping your thoughts steady as you wind down to sleep.
Sometimes reading or music can help. For other, silence is the key. There is no one answer and we can use our minds to figure out our own therapy or routine.
If sleep is elusive, we can get stressed about that also. Whatever sleep we get, it is enough. Some people do not get eight hours, and it is better to just accept that. God says He gives His beloved ones sleep, and He does. Whatever we feel is our lack, He has that in view. If we are to suffer, it is in His control.
If coping is difficult, there are sleeping tablets – we get in quite a wax about these. They are tools to help us. If you want to reach a high cupboard, you get the step-ladders. If sleep is becoming a problem, the doctor might suggest some sleeping tables for a while. Mostly they help for a short time – tools for a specific job.
As Christians we get hung up on guilt about taking prescribed drugs, when really they are given to help us when we are stressed or struggling.
“If I take tablets, I’m not trusting God..” This is an old accusation. God gives us all kinds of helps, so trust Him and use what He has provided.
Our Father never sleeps. He watches over us in the night hours and wakes us up at the right time. How wonderful it would be if we could trust Him implicitly and take the hours of sleep and waking, and know His sovereign care.
My friend was concerned about where she would wake up in the morning… For the Christian it is either in God’s new day, or in the everlasting kingdom…
“…when I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:18 NIV