“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
I currently have a three year old who has a hard time going to sleep. Sometimes it’s that she wants to play or watch one more show, sometimes she’s scared and doesn’t want to be alone, but almost every night, it’s a battle to get her to relax and fall asleep.
Yet the one thing that seems to work right now is playing her “quiet music,” a scripture lullaby album we love. It moves me every time to hear her in her little bed across the room, singing the words “Be still my soul, be still and know that He is God,” because every night, it’s a reminder for me to quiet my own soul and rest as well.
In a world that runs a million miles an hour, it’s so easy to find ourselves struggling to sleep. We’re harried from our hectic day, the neverending to-do list, and scrolling on our phones until we look up an hour later and realize we missed the early bedtime we wanted to have again.
Whether it’s fear, anxiety, or business that keeps us up late into the night, we have a loving God who offers us something better.
John Piper has a great quote about the significance of sleep in which he says, “Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God. Once a day, God sends us to bed like patients with a sickness. The sickness is a chronic tendency to think we are in control, and that our work is indispensable. To cure us of this disease, God turns us into helpless sacks of sand once a day. How humiliating to the self-made man or woman that he or she has to give up all control and become as limp as a suckling infant every day?”
As we sleep, we are helpless, unproductive, not in control. These three things make my skin crawl, but praise God I’m not as in control as I want to be and I can rest knowing my loving God who is. David says it so well in Psalm 4:8.
He can have peace and sleep, in spite of his circumstances, because he knows that God is in control. God is the one who keeps us safe. God is the true source of peace and rest, not our own abilities or circumstances.
So the challenge is this: before you get into bed tonight, can you take a few minutes, put down your phone and your never ending to-do list, and remind yourself that God is in control? He has sustained you through every moment of your day and will be right with you in whatever is coming tomorrow. He loves and delights in you. He is covering you and caring for you. You don’t have to do it all. You don’t have to muster anything up. You can simply rest, knowing you’re loved, and settle into sleep.