“He gives His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2.) This verse isn’t meant to be seen as a punishment for those that deal with insomnia or other sleeping issues. But rather, it shows us how God poured his grace out on us by giving us the gift of sleep.
You know that feeling when you wake up after a nice, long, peaceful night of sleep? You’re warm and cozy in your bed, you drowsily wake up on your own accord, feeling relaxed and rested.
Praise God, right?!? What a beautiful gift.
And not only did God graciously give us sleep, but He also wired us for spiritual rest. We aren’t the Energizer Bunny. We can’t do it all. I’m preaching to myself here too, this is so hard to learn!!
In order for us to be present with people and in our lives, we need to first be present with our Lord Jesus. Our soul needs to rest and be refreshed in Him. He has given us the gift of His presence, His word. Spending time in the scriptures and prayer is a means of grace. Taking a day off and sabbathing is a means of His grace. Taking a day away once every month or few months is a means of grace. He seeks to refresh us and renew our weary souls.
Many of us relate to this from vacations. It seems so easy to rest and relax when we’re away from the real world. After a great vacation, we can come back, energized and ready to take things head on. That’s because we rested well! And although it would be nice if every other week we could go to a tropical location to rest, that’s a little ridiculous:) But it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy soul nourishing, gospel rest in our normal every day lives.
The whole of Psalm 127:2 says:
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
God isn’t saying it’s sinful to wake up early or go to bed late, but it’s why we do those things. Do we wake up early and sacrifice sleep because we don’t trust God’s design of how many hours there are in the day? Do we stay late at work not trusting that God will provide for us? Do we lay in our beds at night worrying and anxious?
Trust God. Work is important, but so is rest. Work hard. Rest well. Have rhythms of being fully present in work and fully present in rest. Get sleep and physical rest, but more important rest your soul in the arms of your Father. Be renewed in spirit by His word, His goodness and His kindness. Be reminded that you are finite and weak but your God is infinite and strong. Be humbled by our need for rest and run to throne of God’s power. Repent when we toil anxiously and run our fingers to the bone, looking to Jesus who did all things perfectly so we are reminded there is grace when we do not.
I pray that as I’ve given short snippets into what I’ve been learning, you have been able to see the redemptive gift of rest. This is not wasting time. This is what will positively impact us the most in 20 years – much more than that floor that needs cleaned or the little bit of paperwork that needs to be done before you go to sleep.
Work hard. Rest well. Trust in Him.