Usually I am fortunate to sleep well; insomnia can be something very difficult to live with, leaving us weary and struggling even as the day begins. When we face difficult and stressful situations, sleep is something that can seem elusive to us as we find it difficult to ‘switch off’ and become more restless through the anxiety. Problems seem so much greater during the night hours; we toss and turn, fretting and worrying without resolving anything.
For many years, I have found comfort in Ps 4:8: ‘In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.’ There is great solace in knowing that God makes us dwell in safety and that He is on the throne, no matter what situations look like to our human eyes. At this present time, it’s more important than ever that we sleep well, entrusting the unknown and the fearful to God’s capable hands.
Jesus gives us an example of this when He is asleep in the boat during a terrible storm (Mark 4:38). No matter what was going on around Him, He could sleep, secure in His Father’s love and power. Peter gives us another example of this in Acts 12. Imprisoned and awaiting probable execution, Peter is found sleeping between guards rather than fretting about his future. (Acts 12:6) The angel had to wake him up forcibly before effecting his release!
Both these examples demonstrate that the peace God gives us is not something theoretical, but something practical. God’s peace means we can lie down and sleep, no matter what else is going on. At these times of isolation, it’s hard to keep routines going and hard to live with structure and order in our lives. I strongly recommend keeping, as far as possible, to normal ‘times’ and to ask God for His blessed gift of sleep. Ps 127:2 says, ‘In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.’ May God grant us the ability to sleep well in these troubled times, secure in His love and care.