“In vain you rise early and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
Psalm 127:2 (NIV)
I went to sleep at 11:30 p.m. The Intensive care unit was very quiet and the staff spoke in whispers. I had taken a sleeping pill to help me rest until morning. I should have slept like a baby the way I did most nights here. Not tonight. Sleep eludes me.
I lay in the comfortable bed with my mind racing and there is no way I can go to sleep again. Conventional wisdom says I should get up and read something boring to quiet my mind and allow sleep to overtake me again. Instead I write and use my creative skills to produce the devotionals I love to write.
As I read our verse for today I wonder if somehow God does not love me because “he grants sleep to those he loves.” “Where is my portion of sleep?” I ask. Is this a demonstration of how much God loves me when I only get 2 1/2 hours of sleep?
No, I must never look at my situation and use it as a basis for determining how much The Lord loves me. My situation is never a good gauge of how much God loves me. I must look at the situation of another if I wish to determine how much I am loved by the Lord.
I must read of how He loved the Twelve Apostles—and yet they broke His heart with their sin, their pride; their broken promises to Him. I read of how they deserted Him in Gethsemane after pledging to go with Him to the death; I weep to read about how they wanted to use their relationship with Him to gain the best positions in the coming kingdom. Then I realize that I would have acted no different than they did. I would have made hollow promises too. I would have been as big a coward as any of them.
Yet He loved them and me utterly. I read of His suffering in so many ways. I stop to ponder each horror He endured on the way to the cross. I ask myself how we could have been so cruel and hateful to One so beautiful and lovely. I have no answer except to be amazed at the depths of sin in the human heart.
I rest comfortable most nights. He does give me—His beloved one—sleep on most occasions. The promise of the verse is still true. I am given what I need and I recognize, once more, that it is never my circumstances that tell of His love for me. No, a thousand times no! The evidence of His great, eternal love for me is seen at the cross where He endured the full fury of God’s wrath against sin on my behalf.
Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. My acceptance with the Father is written in the blood of a dying Saviour. No I must doubt no more. I shall sit here awake tonight and rejoice in the amazing love of my Saviour. My time will not be wasted, I shall worship, praise, and remember again the remarkable proof of how I am loved. Will you do the same with your sleepless nights? Use the time to meet with your Beloved Saviour. Have Him remind you of just how precious you are to Him. These few hours can be well spent. Do not waste them. Rather, revel in your Beloved Lord and Saviour.