As our interconnected world is moving so fast these days, who’s got time for sleep? Our “screenage” culture tells us that if you snooze – you lose. Insomnia, sleep deprivation and sleep disorders are rapidly becoming an epidemic — even among believers in Christ.
We are seeing the consequences of lack of rest everywhere in our society: air traffic controllers falling to sleep on the job; health care workers having more complications when sleep deprived; truck drivers having their driving times controlled due to accidents. What’s the answer? Sleep Medicine? A new mattress? Sleeping Pills? Herbal remedies? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Although these methods may be effective, one may miss God’s purpose of rest in their lives. Many times those “quick fixes” don’t address the underlying causes of difficulties sleeping. The scriptures help to give us a framework to evaluate many of these remedies. As believers in Christ, we need to go back to the source of all truth for answers.
Sleep Was God’s Idea
Has it ever crossed your mind that there may be a spiritual connection to your sleep issues? Sleep was God’s idea! Therefore, we need to take a step back and reflect on the life and ministry of the Great Physician. The Bible offers a prescription for rest and sleep which begins with surrendering our lives over to the One who uniquely created mankind’s need for sleep in the first place.
Jesus modeled the perfect balance between activity and rest. There were times when Jesus slept peacefully in the bow of a ship in the midst of a raging storm. The Lord slept calmly because He trusted in the protection and provision of His Father through the adversities of life. If the Spirit of Christ dwells in our lives then we also have the ability to sleep soundly no matter what difficulties we may face as we lay our heads on our pillows.
Read The Story: To Sleep Peacefully
But on the other hand, there were times when Jesus sacrificed sleep and rest to fulfill a higher purpose. The night before the Messiah was crucified He stayed up and prayed in preparation for the suffering that He would endure on the cross. From a human perspective, one would think that Jesus should have gotten a good night’s rest to prepare for upcoming trials of the crucifixion. But as our Lord surrenders to the will of the Father, He is given a supernatural ability to fulfill the plans that were prepared for Him the following day. Unlike the disciple who slept carelessly that evening, Jesus stayed up and prayed.
Solomon declares that there is “a time and a place for everything” (Eccl 3:1). There is a time to fall asleep trusting in the arms of a loving God whose eyes never close. But there is also a time to stay up and obediently serve the Lord. As we surrender our lives over to His will, God will teach you to follow the Great Physician’s prescription for rest.
About The Author: Dr. Charles Page is a sleep deprived surgeon in Texas. He and his wife Joanna enjoy watching sunsets and hanging out in their treehouse with their five children. You can find out more about a Christian worldview of sleep at surrendered sleep blog at http://surrenderedsleep.blogspot.com/