Monday, December 18, 2023

God Gives Us Sleep - Maggie Wills

God gives us sleep
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. Psalm 127:1–2 NIV

I once loved going to bed. 

I loved the process—getting a glass of water, hiding the clothes scattered on the floor in my room away in my closet, and settling in to read for a few minutes before turning out the lights. I loved this routine, but now, I stay up late. 

Sometimes, I stay up to check just one more thing off my to-do list, to finish an assignment before a deadline, or to squeeze a TV show or movie into my day. I have convinced myself that one more activity will make the day successful, and I can handle a little less sleep. 

The psalmist reminds me that God gives me sleep, and I need this gift. God blesses and sustains my work, I follow him, and He stops me every night to sleep. He knows I have limits, for He created them. He made me a finite creature on purpose and, while delighting in my service, also delights in my rest. 

When I forget or ignore that God gives me rest through sleep, I ignore a loving gift. My limits are His gifts, reminding me of His power to sustain me. I cannot handle sleepless nights because that is not how He created me. I desire to serve God and accept His sustaining gifts—including the gifts of my human limitations—as His design. 

I want to remember this before I make an extra cup of coffee in the afternoon or when I wish for a few more hours. The God who gives me work and purpose also gives me limits. My yawns tell me to settle, and the setting sun reminds me God gives me sleep.

We should thank God daily for loving and inviting us into His service. But we should also thank Him for the gift of sustaining sleep and reminding us that we need Him.

How are you handling God’s gift of sleep? 

Tweetable: How do you handle God's gift of rest?  

A graduate student at Dallas Theological Seminary, Maggie Wills’ experience in the school’s media arts and worship program helps her explore the connection between faith, art, and daily life. She grew up in Georgia but now calls Dallas, Texas, her home. She loves reading classical literature, her six brothers, and breakfast for dinner.

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