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Friday, April 17, 2015

Resting vs. Sleeping… When Caffeine Just Doesn't Cut It


 
This is the face of someone who woke up from the best nap ever! When your hair does this during naptime, you know it was a good nap! When was the last time you slept this good?

I’m an 8-10 hour-a-night kinda girl when it comes to sleep. I’ve never been able to live on a few hours here and there. When I found out I was pregnant, my mom told me she was worried about how I’d adjust to a life of minimal sleep because she knew I cherished my 10 hours! Thankfully for us, Riley Grace adjusted to sleeping through the night at a relatively early age. J

I’ve been talking with some friends a lot about sleeping. Strange topic, but a few of my friends at work are struggling with being able to sleep during the night. One friend was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, and her sleep test results came back showing that she stops breathing 80 times per hour! Dangerous stuff! Another friend has had some anxiety issues due to a specific event from the past and has trouble falling asleep. Lots of mornings they do not feel rested at all, as they have tossed and turned all night and struggled to fall asleep and stay asleep. We also discussed our friends who stay up all hours of the night studying and miss the critical 10pm-2am sleep time, thus robbing their body of their most critical hours of recharging. As we were talking about not getting restful sleep, I was thinking about my sisters and brothers-in-law who have newborns at home, and probably aren’t having the best sleep either! ;-) Sleep, sleep, sleep. I’m sure people who struggle with sleep or simply can’t have it because of life circumstances daydream about a good night’s sleep! Sleep is vital and good and we need it to rest from our day and recharge for the next day. Sometimes, we can run on caffeine if rest didn’t come the night before, but caffeine only goes so far!

As I was pondering sleep, I was reminded of the REST that God can and desires to give us. Whatever your situation, whether its physical, spiritual, mental, or emotional rest, He can provide for you and meet your needs.

If you’re in a season of life where physical sleep is hard to come by, the Lord can give you rest in your soul and body in the midst of sleepless nights.

If your health prevents you from sleeping well, the Lord can provide rest for your body as only He can.

If you find yourself in a season of grief, in which you cannot fall asleep because of a heavy heart, the Lord can and wants to be your peace, comfort, and rest.

If your children demand for you to meet their needs in the wee hours of the night, the Lord can give you rest as you hold those babies.

If you’re in a season of studying and preparing for what the Lord has for you after college which requires that you stay up when the world is asleep, you can rest in the Lord when sleep is rare.

If you can’t fall asleep because of the anxiety weighing on your heart and mind, the Lord is here right now and wanting to ease your anxiety.

And if the rest that you lack is spiritual because you have not trusted in the saving power of Jesus Christ, He offers you His salvation, which can give your heart and soul eternal rest. I pray that you experience rest for your soul right now.

APPLICATION

1.      Pray. Remember that there is a purpose for everything. Even if you’re in a season where you body won’t or can’t sleep, you can have spiritual rest from the Lord. Pray that the Lord shows you His purpose in this season. Pray that He will give you rest for your weary soul and body. When/if you are up again in the middle of the night, pray.

2.    Think of others. Do you know someone who needs rest spiritually? Do you know someone whose soul has not found the One who can fulfill their every need and longing? Pray for that person. Pray that the Lord will give you a boldness and passion for their weary soul. Physical weariness is tiresome, but a soul without Christ is weary beyond measure until they find their fulfillment and rest in Him. Be a light for someone today. 

3.    Meditate on the following verses. May you find rest for your soul as you trust in the Lord regardless of if physical rest comes tonight or not.

Isaiah 40:30-31 “Even youths shall faith and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all 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 souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I hope your hair looks like Riley Grace’s when you wake up (implying that you have the best sleep/rest ever), but if it doesn’t, then I pray that you have a sweet time with the Lord if your body won’t/can’t rest tonight. While physically we may turn to caffeine for energy, I pray that your soul will be prompted to turn to the Lord, as only He can fulfill your deepest need for rest. J


Always, Jacquelyn

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