Who Needs Sleep Anyway?

(Psalm 77: 2-9, ESV)  2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. 3 When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah 4 You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I consider the days of old, the years long ago. 6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search: 7 “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? 8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah

I have struggled with insomnia all of my life, it seems.  I remember as far back as four years old just lying awake, staring at the ceiling, heart racing, mind reeling.  I would think of all the things that were bothering me, or things that happened throughout the day, and even as a small child I would wonder what I could have done differently.  Over the years, that has never changed.  My sleepless nights have often been due to anxious thoughts and feelings.  The subject matter has evolved as I have matured, but the cause of my lost sleep has always been the same thing…anxiety. 

Anxiety is defined, in short, as excessive uneasiness, nervousness, and/or worry.  Sometimes it’s temporary, caused by one single event or problem, but other times our anxiety is a recurring condition.  When worries take over our hearts and minds, things start to happen with our bodies as well.  Stress and worry affects our digestive and cardiovascular systems, it disrupts sleep, it can affect our hormones, causing reproductive issues, and it can lower the entire immune system leaving our bodies vulnerable to a myriad of illnesses and ailments. 

Beyond all of that, the emotional and spiritual affects of anxiety can be crippling.  Not only does it hold us prisoner to our thoughts and emotions, but it also erodes our personal relationships with friends and family.  It even interferes with our connection to God.  We begin to feel far away from Him, imagining that somehow He has found Himself willing to leave us…and that’s just crazy thinking! 

So how do we combat this epidemic of the mind?  We have to take charge of our thinking…align our thoughts with scripture…with what we know to be true.

(Psalm 77: 10-12, ESV) 10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” 11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. 12 I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.  

God has proven Himself, and sometimes, because we are human and doubtful by nature, we have to remind ourselves just who our Creator is and remember all of His marvelous works.  When we truly put Him first, worshipping and honoring Him with our lives, we take the focus away from all of the things that keep us up at night, and we are able to reclaim our peace.

Philippians 4: 4-7 (The Message) says, “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!  Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I recognize anxiety for what it is.  I take charge of my thoughts and feelings, and rather than fret over things that are out of my control, I choose to celebrate YOU and all of the wonderful things that You have done.  Thank You for rest.  Thank You for peace.  I claim them both in faith.  Amen.

Who Needs Sleep Anyway?

Psalm 77: 2-9 (ESV)  2 In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. 3 When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah 4 You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I consider the days of old, the years long ago. 6 I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search: 7 “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? 8 Has his steadfast love forever ceased? Are his promises at an end for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah


I have struggled with insomnia all of my life it seems.  I remember as far back as four years old just lying awake, staring at the ceiling, heart racing, mind reeling.  I would think of all the things that were bothering me, or things that happened throughout the day, and even as a small child I would wonder what I could have done differently.  Over the years, that has never changed.  My sleepless nights have often been due to anxious thoughts and feelings.  The subject matter has evolved as I have matured, but the cause of my lost sleep has always been the same thing…anxiety. 

Anxiety is defined, in short, as excessive uneasiness, nervousness, and/or worry.  Sometimes it’s temporary, caused by one single event or problem, but other times our anxiety is a recurring condition.  When worries take over our hearts and minds, things start to happen with our bodies as well.  Stress and worry affects our digestive and cardiovascular systems, it disrupts sleep, it can affect hormones causing reproductive issues, and it can lower the entire immune system leaving our bodies vulnerable to a myriad of illnesses and ailments. 

Beyond all of that, the emotional and spiritual affects of anxiety can be crippling.  Not only does it hold us prisoner to our thoughts and emotions, but it also erodes our personal relationships with friends and family.  It even interferes with our connection to God.  We begin to feel far away from Him, imagining that somehow He has found Himself willing to leave us…and that’s just crazy thinking! 

So how do we combat this epidemic of the mind?  We have to take charge of our thinking…align our thoughts with scripture…with what we know to be true.

10 Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” 11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. 12 I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.  -Psalm 77: 10-12 (ESV)

God has proven Himself, and sometimes, because we are human and doubtful by nature, we have to remind ourselves just who our Creator is and of all of His marvelous works.  When we truly put Him first, worshipping and honoring Him with our lives, we take the focus away from all of the things that keep us up at night, and we are able to reclaim our peace.

Philippians 4: 4-7 (The Message) says, “Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!  Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”


Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I recognize anxiety for what it is, I take charge of my thoughts and feelings, and rather than fret over things that are out of my control, I choose to celebrate YOU and all of the wonderful things that You have done.  Thank you for rest.  Thank you for peace.  Amen.

What Did I Miss?

(Mark 14:40-41 ESV) And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.


Donna’s grandmother passed away several years ago. At the time, we were involved in a ministry assignment that put considerable distance between us. After hearing the news, we made the necessary arrangements and started driving to attend the funeral. I drove all night to get to the funeral home so Donna could be with her family during a very emotional time.

I’m not reliving this story to solidify my position as the world’s best husband! (Although I am!) I was so exhausted that I sat down in the chair and fell sound asleep. There I was, dressed in my suit in a room full of people with my head leaned back against the wall. The worst part? I was snoring! Yep. Snoring. My darling wife was introducing me to people I didn’t know while I was sound asleep. I was missing it all.

In our passage of Scripture today, I was impacted by all the disciples were missing in the final days before the crucifixion of Christ. Jesus had invited them to join Him in a very intimate time of prayer and they were asleep.

I’m not going to throw them under the bus though. It’s true they could have, and probably should have pushed their bodies and emotions to stay awake and pray with Jesus. But, on the other hand, think of the pressure they were under. Think about all they were facing and the unknown future they would soon experience.

Exhaustion comes in different shapes and sizes. We are body, soul, and spirit. And, the truth is, we become exhausted in all of those dimensions. Exhaustion can cause an individual to become numb to their surroundings. In that state of mind, it is easy to miss the significance of the moment.

I fear that we Americans have become numb to the conditions we live in. Politicians are spouting rhetoric that has lulled many into a deep sleep. Life is moving along at a fast pace and we are missing some very important information. Likewise, we have become so insensitive that we no longer believe political issues can be discussed and resolved. And so we sleep on; time keeps moving. The majority of eligible voters didn’t even bother to vote in the last Presidential election. What are we missing?

I’m with Jesus on this one. “It is enough; the hour has come.” Let’s wake up and get on with this thing. Even so, Lord Jesus, come.


PRAYER: Father, I’m sorry for having slept through Your invitation to spend quality time with You. Shake me. Wake me. Prepare me so that I can effectively fulfill all You have called me to do. Don’t let me miss it. Amen.

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