What Resting in God Means
One of life’s simplest pleasures is a good night’s sleep. It is accessible to everyone; makes you feel good as new the next morning and best of all does not cost a thing. What an amazing feeling it is to head to bed completely exhausted and wake up the next morning feeling refreshed, restored and re-energized.
That is what a good night’s sleep does for your body! For so many of us, sleep is a daily routine – something our body tells us to do at the end of each day.
But what resting in God is talking about is not rest from your daily work or after being physically exhausted when you have worked hard. Resting in God is the profound peace that God gives to those who love and obey Him regardless of the situation.
Resting in God does not mean that God removes the problems but rather that we can stay calm and composed in the midst of a storm because we know that God is with us.
Fear & Anxiety
Many people have trouble falling asleep. In fact, insomnia is a common sleep problem for adults and all of us would have encountered it at some point in our lives.
Often times it is a result of anxiety, stress, depression or even excitement and anticipation. “Sleep Medicine Centre” reports that insomnia affects almost 60 million Americans each year. Probably even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic when there is so much uncertainty and reason for worry.
Uncertainty is undoubtedly one of the biggest culprits that bothers us so much because we are so used to making plans for our own future. It is the uncertainty we find ourselves in that unsettles us in ways that cripple us with fear and anxiety.
Whenever you find yourself loss in fear and anxiety, it is a sign that you are not resting in God.
Resting in God: God Grants Rest to Those He Loves
I have been so blessed in that all my life, falling asleep comes easily. As soon as my head hits the pillow, I drift into a deep sleep almost instantly. Strangely for the past couple of weeks, I found myself taking increasingly longer to fall asleep every night.
I would spend more than half an hour agonizing over how to mash my pillow into the right shape; tossing and turning to find a comfortable position to fall asleep in.
What follows would be a flurry of panicked thoughts such as “What time is it now?” or “Why am I taking so long to fall asleep” or “What should I do? Will reading a book to help me fall asleep?” racing through my mind.
Strangly enough, the harder I try not to worry, the more I eventually end up worrying.
Amidst my frustration, this verse written by King Solomon in Psalm 127:1-2 came to mind.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat for He grants sleep to those He loves."
What does Psalm 127:1-2 tell us? This passage gives encouragement to those who take the burden of the future, of provision and protection too heavily upon our own shoulders.
It is for the planners and worriers and those of us who push ourselves beyond our limits to ensure whatever we have set out to achieve is accomplished.
Resting in God is something that we need to constantly remind ourselves of.
At the end of the passage, the message is clear – sleep is indeed a gift of love. When we are sleeping peacefully, we are not filled with anxiety. God does not want us to be anxious but to trust in Him because He will always be a better manager of our life than we will ever be.
Once I understood this, I was overwhelmed with peace with the knowledge that our omniscient God knows our needs and is working things out even while we are asleep.
God is commanding us to stop worrying and to let Him do the heavy lifting. He is teaching us the importance of resting in God. Even when things may not look the way we expect it to, hold on to God’s promises in Jeremiah 29:11 which says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Resting in God’s Love
While we may have our own ambitions and goals, always remember that God has everything planned out for us in the best way possible. God does not want us to stress our lives away with sleepless nights, so He gives us the gift of sleep.
We sleep and rest so that we may be refreshed and prepared to take on the challenges of each new day. As the prophet Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness".
Each morning as we arise, we can be assured that God's great mercy and faithfulness will be ready and waiting for us. Rest in God's love today and be mindful that God is working for you not against you.