We all know how it feels to be sleep deprived; whether it’s because we’ve stayed up into the early hours of the morning to meet a deadline or for whatever reason sleep just seems to be elusive, it’s not a nice feeling at all! I am one of those people who love to sleep, so I don’t willingly give up my daily opportunity to slumber but there have been times in my life when I have not been able to fall asleep and/or stay asleep and I have hated it! Although scientists have no idea why we sleep, research studies show that sleep is essential for health and well-being. Sleep deprivation studies on humans show that at the very least cognitive performance and mood is disturbed whilst a very unethical animal study found that cats who were deprived of REM sleep eventually died (Jouvet, 1967)! The key point here is that we need sleep to function properly and as such we would never trust ourselves to the mercy of driver or pilot who was sleep deprived, would we?
But hold on a minute… the Bible speaks of God’s ability to do without sleep as a good thing.
For the keeper of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps
Psalm 121: 4
Haven’t you known? Haven’t you heard? The everlasting God, YHWH, The Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn’t faint. He isn’t weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
Isaiah 40: 28
Why should His children be comforted by such words, why should we be encouraged by the fact that God doesn’t need to sleep and that He doesn’t grow tired and weary? There are so many reasons why this comforts me:
- it reminds me once again that God is not a man, God is not limited like I am, His ability to perfectly function is unlimited, His internal resources are limitless, He IS limitless.
- God is strong enough to carry my weaknesses and burdens, they will not weigh Him down or cause Him to feel fatigued. His strength is my rest.
- God is always at work, busy on my behalf, when I am asleep and when I am weak I can trust in the fact that God is still active in my life.
- I am never alone even in the darkest, hardest and most scariest place, God is right there with me, He’s not on holiday, He’s not taking a nap, He is fully present with me and I can trust in His constant presence.
It is God’s will and desire to work on our behalf because this is where the greatest healing comes from, He sees us perfected through His expert care and moulding. I see this clearly in Jerusalem, Isaiah prophesies a future time when Jerusalem will live up to its name “City of Shalom”, and throughout the ages until that time comes to pass God will not cease to work until His desire is accomplished in her. Likewise, God doesn’t stop to rest until His work is complete in us.
For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns.
Isaiah 62: 1
I feel truly blessed and secure in God’s deep love for me knowing that He spends His entire time watching over me, safeguarding me, protecting me and working on my behalf - no matter what it looks like on the outside, His constant presence and the fact that He never sleeps makes me feel safe in His care.
So to all my dear brothers and sisters who are finding it hard to let go and rest in God’s presence, I just want to let you know that you have nothing to be afraid of. God is more than able to carry all of your burdens, He is more than able to walk through this journey with you, He is strong enough for you to lean on Him, and He is more than willing to do ALL of the work so that you can rest in Him. I pray that you will experience His Shabbat Shalom (Divine Rest and Peace) today.