When the stuff you and I go through keeps us from laying our heads on our pillow and falling into a restful nights sleep we won’t function properly the following day. Worry and stress will mess up the quality of our lives if we let ourselves fall into anxious thought patterns. Do you realize that worry is a choice that you don’t have to make? Scripture tells us that we must discipline ourselves so that we can immediately grab hold of wrong thoughts and replace them with something pleasant and uplifting. Easier said than done.
Not long ago I started to have ‘one of those nights’. This is how I managed to overcome what was trying to ruin my sleep. After a few attempts at closing my eyes and drifting of, I decided to get up and not try to force myself to sleep. First, I got my Coconut Oil and rubbed my feet and neck (not in that order!). AHHH! that helped. Then I sat in my chair with my fantastic ‘HomeMedics Shiatzu Massager’ and let it work its magic on my shoulder knots for 15 minutes. While listening to its soothing rhythmic sound I opened up my Message Bible to see what God had to say. These words popped out at me: “Count your blessings”. God is so amazing! He always speaks to us at our point of need, and if we are paying very close attention to what He is trying to get us to understand, we just might benefit from it.
I sat there with a smile on my face thinking about the message I’d just gotten. ‘Count your blessings’ is a song my Mother used to sing to me when I was very little. Almost every night I’d wake up with nightmares and call out for my mother as I sat in bed shaking under my covers. She never failed to come to my room to assure me that all was well. Many times this is the song she would sing softly until I fell back asleep.
I couldn’t remember all the lyrics, so I looked them up. These are the words:
When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings
So, with these words in mind, I went back to my bed, laid my head on my pillow and started to think of all my blessings. My mind drifted back twenty two years ago to the Sunday I met my husband. I remembered every detail as if it were only yesterday. It was after Sunday service and I was driving back home with my two little boys in the back seat. One of my very good friends had promised to go to church with me (again) and had cancelled (again) at the last minute. She was heavy on my mind that day, so I called her after service to see if we could visit. She said she was moving. The furniture was gone and the boys would be bored, so maybe another day would be better. I’d decided to go straight home, but as I approached the exit toward her place, I was suddenly led to take a quick detour to see how the move was going. That seemingly insignificant decision changed the course of our lives. She was not there when we arrived. But her carpet cleaner was. Eric and I talked for hours in that empty apartment as the boys played on the carpet he had just cleaned. I knew something was different about this man because my eldest son, who didn’t like anyone I dated, asked me as we were driving away… “Is this the one God sent us?” Three months later we were married. It amazes me how God listens to our prayers and how He answers them in the most fantastic ways!
Then I heard my husband snoring. And, that sound, which could easily be a source of great annoyance to a person who is struggling to sleep…that loud and constant sound…lulled me to sleep; because that noise was living proof of what God has given us!
Next time you can’t sleep try focusing on God’s faithfulness and goodness instead of your problems. Think about what He has done for you and keep in mind that His nature never changes. If He has come to your rescue in the past then you can be sure that He will do it again. Remember the good that has transpired in your life and trust that God will not disappoint you. Philippians 4:6 tells us “Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come.”
We’ve got to stop thinking that we can control everything. Some things are beyond our control. ‘Let go and let God’ is more than a clever mantra. If you truly believe that God can handle what you can’t , then let Him. It will free you from much undue stress, and you will finally be able to rest your mind and sleep.
So, when you are worried and cannot sleep…count your blessings!!