Monday, April 7, 2014

Cures for Restless Nights by Martin Wiles

A good night’s sleep is important for physical and emotional well-being, but what happens when it’s filled with tossing and turning?

Sleeping all night was never an issue until I reached mid-life. As soon as my head lay on the pillow, I was in slumber heaven. Then suddenly things changed. I still had no problem falling asleep, but staying asleep became a problem. Two hours. Awake. Bathroom trip. Two more hours. Awake again. Another bathroom trip. When the alarm clock announced morning, my eyelids wanted to remain closed, and I felt as if I’d never been to bed. I could take medicine to help me sleep or perhaps purchase an expensive, fancy mattress, but I choose to live with the tossing and turning. 

There have been times, however, when aging wasn’t what kept me up. Worry, anxiety, a big meal, relationship turmoil. They’ve all taken their toll. They did on the king young Daniel served as well. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. (Daniel 6:18 NLT) The king had been suckered into his official’s plot to rid themselves of Daniel. Now Daniel was in a lion’s den, and the king was lying awake. 

Restlessness can be cured when relationships are in order—with God and others. Confession and repentance puts my relationship with God in order. Living in this world gets me spiritually dirty. I’m tempted to sin—and occasionally do, but I also often leave undone things I should do. Regular confession keeps my pathway to God uncluttered and my sleep peaceful. 

Apologies and forgiveness can restore my rifts with others. Since I’m not perfect, it’s inevitable that intermittently I’ll rub someone the wrong way—hopefully unintentionally. Saying “I’m sorry” and rectifying the wrong is good medicine for a peaceful night of sleep. When relationships are in turmoil, so is sleep.

Is a rift with God or others keeping you up at night? Confessions and apologies are both first-rate sleeping pills.

Prayer: Father, give us courage to acknowledge our failures and wrongs to You and others so our souls might rest in peace.

Begin each day with a dose of encouraging thoughts. Order your print or Kindle copy today from Amazon.