I’ve never really struggled with sleep; sleep comes easily and quickly. There are times that my wife will have started speaking to me shortly after we’ve gone to bed only to discover that within moments of my head hitting the pillow, I’m already very asleep.
Neither have I struggled with waking, at least not terribly often do I struggle with getting myself to wake up. After I hear the alarm, I’m awake, with few exceptions.
The truth is that I’ve never given it much more thought than to joke with those who can’t sleep well. I suppose that I joke about it because I just don’t understand why others struggle with a task I find as easy as breathing.
As stumped as I am over how others struggle so awfully with finding sleep, they are typically either angry or confused (or both) over how I can possibly sleep so easily. I figure it’s an honest to goodness gift from God.
Recently I ran across a scripture that made me think a bit more deeply about what is going on behind the scenes while both some struggle with sleep and us weirdos pass out quickly.
“I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.” Psalm 3:5 ESV
Did you notice that? Regardless of our involvement, the only reason we wake up again (groggy or not) is because HE sustained us through the night. While that sounds ominous and a bit dark, it’s an absolutely beautiful thing to consider every single morning.
That word “sustain” in the original Hebrew, סָמַךְ, carries the idea of creating a covering. We often see it as the word “lay”.
In Exodus 29:10 “Then you shall bring the bull before the tent of meeting. Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the bull.”
Then in Numbers 27:18 we read, “So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.”
Sustaining, laying on, reminds me of how in Genesis chapter 1 Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the waters and makes me consider that just as we don’t know what Holy Spirit was doing at that time, we may not fully understand what Holy Spirit is doing while He is covering or sustaining us as we sleep.
Think of your comfy blanket, how it makes you feel safe and warm, that’s what is happening spiritually while you rest. We are being sustained in our sleep, causing, or allowing, us to be capable of waking again because He has sustained us once again.
It makes you wonder, why has He sustained me again for this new day? What does He have in store for me today? Of what use can I be for the Lord today?
He allowed you some sleep,
but more importantly
He sustained you through the night
He woke you up!