February 22, 1995

When You Can’t Fall Asleep

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There are several reasons that a person might not be able to sleep. Some people have trouble breathing, so their bodies instinctively wake up throughout the night. Or perhaps the muscles in their legs twitch or another physical problem interrupts their sleep. In any event, such sleep disorders keep many people from experiencing genuine rest even though they most likely never recall waking up during the night.

Before sending a patient to a sleep disorder center for tests, however, most doctors first explore another possible cause of the problem: stress. How are things at work? How are things at home? Very often, we have so much going on in our lives that our minds can't totally turn everything off at night. Or maybe we are regularly indulging in sin, and the guilt tugs the sheets right off our backs, leaving us cold and awake.

In 2 Samuel 15-18, we find Absalom, the son of King David, conspiring to take charge of the kingdom. He plots and schemes for four years, deceiving the people to win their trust so he can overthrow his father. Finally, David has to flee his palace, fearing for his life.

Imagine the stress that David was experiencing. His own son, whom he loved, had turned against him and wanted to kill him. David's power base had evaporated. And yet he said, “I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side” (Psalm 3:6).

How could David say that? Because he was in a no-lose situation. He trusted that the Lord would sustain him. He trusted Him so much that he slept through the night.

Can you turn off the world around you—or more accurately, can you turn the world around you over to God? Can you trust in Him so completely that even when the world seems to be crashing down around you, you can sleep peacefully through the night, wrapped tightly in the Comforter Who sustains you?

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