It is good to rest through sleep because:
- If you don’t, you will have increased anxiety and breathlessness causing sleep apnea meaning you won’t even be able to sleep for lack of air (a vicious cycle)
- Without it, your memory will be impaired and your cognitive performance weakened
- It is anti-aging. When you sleep, your body is resting, repairing and regenerating itself from the stress of life.
- After 3 sleepless days, you will start to hallucinate and lab rats forced to stay awake continuously die.
- A lack of sleep nightly (even an hour less than you should be getting) makes you prone to disease, weight gain and body aches and pains.
- You can hear the sound of God’s words while you are in a deep sleep! (Daniel 10.9)
- Consistent, peace-filled sleep repairs muscles and other tissue and replaces dead cells.
- It also gives your brain a chance to organize and archive important memories*.
- Most people think they can get by with very little sleep, but studies say you may be cutting your life short by taxing your immune system and may be living a joyless life because your attention span is so impaired.
So last time (Sleep, Day Five) I told you about my “discovery” of Psalm 127 and the 1-2-3 punch that drove those verses home. “God gives His beloved sleep.”
I am a changing woman. I plan to sleep a lot more the second half of my life. I don’t even feel the need to spin it like, “Yeah, tomorrow I’ll be organizing and archiving my important memories* pretty much all morning.” No, I am able to just say, “I need a nap. See ya.” Ahhh – this is good. I hope I’ll never fall into the trap of trying to prove something all the time again.
Then 2 days later…
It has taken me months to “get” this and enact it and I am still learning. But God has relentlessly pursued me in it. Just 2 days after I “discovered” Psalm 127, He sent out one more clear reminder. Because He knew I’d need it!
It was a Sunday morning (8.13.06) and I was getting ready to go to church. My first beautiful grandchild, 3 year old Gavin, was at our house and full of spirit and energy, as always. He had gotten ahold of a gallon container of bubbles and we were “discussing” whether or not now, just before leaving for church, was a good time to open the bubbles.
He was quite disappointed when I said to put the bubble bottle back where he got it. For some reason he thought his little arms could toss it back and suddenly the ceramic-tiled floor was covered with bubbles and poor little Gav was right in the middle of it. It was like a cartoon scene as his little feet began to try to run out of the puddle, but weren’t going anywhere…but not funny as he crashed to the floor on his back.
He is fast that before I could get to him, he was up and trying again to escape the slippery mess and there was a second crash. All the excitement got the dog barking and stressed out and soon we had a Brady-bunch-like moment of chaos with our mutt trying to run through the bubbles and spending a lot of time running in place, but then dragging the thick, slippery substance all over the kitchen floor and the family room carpet. It was a messy scene, to be sure.
By necessity, I needed to stay home and get this cleaned up before anyone actually cracked their head open. That tile could be murder when wet, let alone bubble-water!
I was feeling a little sorry for myself because it was such hard work – and just as I was making my decision to learn from Jesus Christ how to rest. But I got to it.
Some cartoons or something had been on TV when everyone left, so the TV was still going, but I couldn’t even hear it as I sopped up and washed out towels. When the floor seemed as clean as it was going to get, I threw everything into the washer and as I came out of the laundry room with one last towel to dry the area, the volume of the TV suddenly seemed louder and I hear some guy saying, “I usually don’t read whole chapters when I preach, but I think I will today” – and words now so very familiar to my ears began to fill the air: “Psalm 127, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…For so God gives His beloved sleep…” He read the whole thing, some preacher named Bayless Conley out of California.
OK. I get it. I am not home because of bubbles. I am home so I won’t forget.
She wholly, fully embraces all new values :)
I have renounced my workaholic, activity obbessed, Type-A, driven, Messiah-complex, performance-oriented, controlling and manipulative, aggressive, competitive, prideful, striving, stressed out, burned out, self-destructive, disobediant, restless and sinful ways.
No matter how hard I worked, it wasn’t working. It was all vanity. But I will have to watch carefully not to go back. I was a good hard-working church girl who needed a Savior and got one. He came looking for me, lost as I was, not from eternal life or a lack of salvation through Jesus Christ, but certainly lost from the abundant, joy-filled life He invited me to join Him in.
Occasionally now, months later, when I start creeping back towards too much work and activity and not enough resting in the Lord and being wholly devoted to Him, I find myself getting back into trying to impress God and perform for His approval rather than love Him from a pure heart. Those are miserable days, full of defensiveness and striving.
Rest is better. Sleep is divine. A nap is a glimpse of heaven.
All you who are weary and heavy laden, Jesus will give you rest…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Of COURSE I have been needing more than 3 or 4 hours of sleep all these years! I am only dust, after all…
Read all the posts from this series:
- Sleep, Day one – I didn’t even know I needed it
- Sleep, Day Two, I hadn’t slept in almost ten years
- Sleep, Day Three, Hunter and the Prophet Elijah
- Sleep, Day Four, Even the Prophet Elijah needed a nap
- Sleep, Day Five – I discover Psalm 127!
- Sleep, Day Six, The Sunday Morning Bubble Disaster
- Sleep Day Seven, Even God rested on the 7th day