"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for he grants sleep to those he loves." (Psalm 127:1-2 NIV)
The screeching alarm clock pierces the depths of your blissful but short-lived slumber. Every fibre of your being protests vehemently as the unrelenting racket drags you unwillingly to the surface. You fall out of bed, stumble across the floor, hit the snooze button and collapse into oblivion for another nine minutes.
In our high-speed world today, we achieve more than ever but function at a less-than-optimum level, fuelled by caffeine and sugar. Guess what? This is NOT the lifestyle God intends for us. "He grants sleep to those he loves." So why do we live at a pace that belies the Lord's provision for us?
Sure, there are times when we need to push ourselves. Even the great apostle Paul spoke of 'sleepless nights' (2 Cor. 6:5). Once, Paul even preached all night, calmly restoring to life the poor fellow who not only fell asleep but fell to his death from the third-storey windowsill where he was sitting (Acts 20:7-12)! Paul testifies to the energy of God, which works so powerfully in us (Col. 1:29). However, at times, we push ourselves beyond our limits, focusing only on the tasks at hand, losing focus of our Lord who 'grants sleep to those he loves'.
Is your life so full of excellent things that you barely appreciate them as you struggle through the fog of exhaustion day after day? Would God have you cut back on something? It's okay to even cut back on 'ministry'. Can you reduce your hours of paid employment? Do you really need that lovely holiday or the second car? Seriously - pray about it!
Remember, if what you're busy doing isn't the Lord's best for you, then your sleeplessness is in vain. "He grants sleep to those he loves." Be radical! Say 'no' occasionally and get some sleep!
Amen! Thank you for addressing a very important issue for all of us today. I agree with you-we are all much too busy. I pray that God will show each of us what we can eliminate from our lives so that we can get some of the 'sweet slumber' we need so desperately.
Good writing, logical and concise.