There are many who say, "Who will show us any good?" Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. You have put gladness in my heart, More than in the season that their grain and wine increased. I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
The news of Japan's surprise and savage attack upon the American fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was a bittersweet affair to the British wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill. Bitter in the sense that he mourned the great loss of ships and sailors in this unprovoked attack! Sweet in the sense that it would become the catalyst for America's entry into the Second World War! The sleeping giant had been awakened and now the tide would surely turn against Germany. The country of his mother's birth would now be arrayed on Britain’s side. It is reported that on the evening of that infamous day in December that Churchill said: "Tonight I shall sleep the sleep of the saved and thankful."
"The sleep of the saved," now there is an interesting and intriguing phrase! By inference Churchill's words assume that those who know God and are known to God sleep better than most, or at least they ought to. Their rest is not found in downy pillows or soft pillow top mattresses, but in trusting God who can be trusted with all their cares and concerns (Psa. 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7). King David is a case in point for he writes in the fourth Psalm, "In peace I will lie down and sleep for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety" (Psa. 4:8). The backdrop to this psalm is Absalom's rebellion which makes these words pop out even more (2 Sam 15-18). David is at rest amidst unrest. David is at peace amidst war. How was he able to sleep at all? God's smile (v 6), God's sufficiency (v 7), and God's security (v 8)! True calm and contentment depends not on circumstances but on God's loving kindness and promised faithfulness. David was able to sleep in the presence of his enemies, just as Jesus was able to sleep in the midst of a storm (Psalm 23:5; Mark 4:38-39).
Statistics tell us that 70 million Americans have trouble sleeping. Thirty tons of aspirins, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers are consumed every day. America is up when she should be down. If that is you, then let me suggest a couple of things. One, pray to God for the gift of sleep (Psalm 127:2)! Two, ask your Father in heaven to tuck you in with the sure and certain knowledge that in the morning you will find new mercies for the coming day (Psa. 3:5; Lam. 3:22-23)! Third, let God work the nightshift (Psalm 121:4)! You can rest and sleep for God is at work on your behalf (Eph. 1:11). Even though at times it might seem as if God is sleeping or snoring it is never the case. Read Esther chapter six and learn how God turns the tables on Mordecai's enemy Haman even as Mordecai sleeps (Esther 6:1-13). Ironically, Haman will be hanged on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai (Esther 7:10). Listen and learn! God's got your back so you go ahead and lie on yours, and sleep the sleep of the saved.
Lord, I know that peace ultimately comes from You. As I grow in that knowledge, give me the trust in You and Your plan to rest well. Thank you for the gracious reminders given to me in Your Word that show Your faithfulness and ability to sleep in the midst of any storm. Amen.
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