Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sooooo Relax, Max: What Sleep Really Means

Psalm 127:1-2
1 Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.  Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves. 

Sometimes I think we give ourselves too much credit.  What I mean by that is that sometimes we act as though all the world is on our shoulders- putting a lot of weight on every move that we make and every  decision we face. 

Though this Superman act can be a good motivation toward accomplishment, it can also get very old, very fast.  Besides sending us into near psychosis, this self-relying attitude can quickly leave us burned out and emotionally depleted- turning us into prideful perfectionists along the way. 

My husband and I were discussing this concept last night after reading Psalm 127.  It was perfect timing (as God's word has a tendency to be...) as my husband was getting ready to take a pretty significant exam along his career path. 

He had been spending late hours studying, and waking up early to do the same in an attempt to prepare for this pending obstacle.  And it struck us as rather ironic as we were heading to bed that night to read the words "in vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat"....

It was as though God was reminding us that we need to relax a little, and remember that He is in this.  

According to this passage, God gives REST to those He loves.  He allows us to close our eyes and sleep.  So, out of all the things God could have given us, why does He promise sleep?

To me, sleep is God's way of gently reminding me that I am not needed...when I close my eyes, life goes on.  My world does not fall apart. What that translates to me is God saying that He is in control: "Deb, RELAX.  Though you sometimes think you are, remember that you are NOT the center of the universe...take a break, close your eyes and let go.  I've got it under control."

We put too much on our shoulders, forgetting that God is really the one at work and that He will get us where He wants us to go.  Scripture reminds us time and time again that God is truly in control. He will guide you.  He will give you instructionHe will direct your steps.  He will get you where he wants you- it's a promise

So at the end of the day, we have two options...we can either toil, labor, and build in vain- believing that the world is on our shoulders.  Or we can acknowledge that He is the one in charge, that He is in this, and that we can let go.

So in my sincere opinion- close your eyes and learn to relax, Max....


  1. Love it. I needed to hear this today. I definitely woke early this morning, at 2:30am! But it was in worry. So I am praying tonight that God grants me the sleep I need and that He is in control of it all!!! thanks for the reminder :-)

  2. Aw, so glad it meant something to you too! I am praying you get a good night's rest tonight...no more of that 2:30am stuff!! May God grant you peace and may you rest in the fact that He is in control of your life and all the details.

  3. It's a lovely post and I wish it was as easy as you say it is.

    I feel sometimes that I could say I'm no longer needed and go to bed but everything that needs to be done is still there the next day but by leaving it, it is building - when you are a parent, you work full time and sometimes 2 jobs responsibilities cannot be so easily put aside. The other side of it is I will sleep when I am dead for I will have earned that rest.

  4. SJ, you are right- so much easier said than done. I think even more than the literal component of sleep, the important thing is to learn to rest- at least EMOTIONALLY- in God's hands...knowing that He is taking care of the details of our lives. Sometimes emotional "rest" is more important than physical rest...although they do end up going hand in hand. May God give you strength as you carry the load you are carrying in this season of life, and may He give you the strength to ask Him to help you carry it each and every single day. Thanks for reading and for your sincere thoughts...it's much appreciated!!

  5. A beautiful reminder to rest the emotions. True it is not an easy journey but a journey that needs to be taken now and again.
    Through my meditation I am learning to be just the observer of those emotions and not to get pulled into them.
    Thank you

  6. Debra...could you send him a little message from me..seems our connection has some static there...just simply say BONGO needs SLEEEEEEEEEEP!!!! LoL humor works ...As always..XOXOXO


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