After the annual 2014 Cincinnati Thanksgiving Day 10 kilometers race, Julie Isphording, simply couldn’t sleep. She’d been the organizer of this race for 12 years. Money raised by this event went to local charities so, to her, it was important this race continued to be successful. Throughout the race, water stops were provided and participants were given free samples of protein bars. But this year, many of the participants didn’t just take one protein bar. Many took as many as they could hold in both arms; others filled bags they brought and a surprising number even jumped into dumpsters to get boxes they subsequently filled with the protein bars. This degree of greed greatly upset Julie.
We’ve all probably not been able to sleep after an upsetting situation. Such a problem isn’t new. Even King David implied he struggled with this too. But he found a solution. He concluded it was unproductive and contrary to God’s will for us to lose sleep to worry. In Psalm 127:2, David writes: “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He [the Lord] giveth His beloved [ones] sleep.” He found victory over insomnia through applying several biblical principles. David found comfort in his relationship with the Lord, writing: “…know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call…” (Psalm 4:3). When sleep was fleeting, practicing Psalm 4:4 helped: “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” The word “selah” means “to pause.” Since the psalms were meant to be sung, musicians were to pause at this point in the song. However, we who are reading this Psalm should pause and soak in the truth of verse four. When we can’t sleep, the Lord would have us spend time with Him in prayer. Have you ever considered that one reason why sleep is elusive is that the Lord wants you to communicate with Him in prayer?
Psalm 4:8 tells us David found victory over sleeplessness. “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.” When you, too, struggle with sleeplessness, don’t worry. Spend time in prayer, concentrate on God’s greatness, and trust Him to work through your needs.
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