Wednesday, April 10, 2013

When Sleep Won't Come


It was the teeth grinding that made me notice it.

I’ve never been one to grit my teeth. It is a horrible feeling, if you ask me. But there I was, jaw set, not in anger but in anxiety. Not only were my teeth clenched, but I suddenly realized that my hands and feet were balled tight, and I was lying in a fetal position, my entire body tense.

What was the cause, you ask? Well, absolutely nothing, to be honest. I don’t live a life of anxiety and worry. But it was one of those nights...a night I couldn’t sleep because my mind wouldn’t shut off...a night where my thoughts were jumping from one thing to another,  and I was beginning to worry about a few small situations.

None of these thoughts were worth worrying out, but when all jumbled together it was making me feel anxious about everything. I was trying to sort through some difficulties and figure out how things would “work out.”

And then the teeth grinding.

That is when I realized what I was doing. I was laying there trying to make life work on my own. Trying to come up with human reasoning and purposes for those situations. Trying to figure out how I was going to handle things. On my own. That was a mistake.

So I began to relax. I started with my jaw. Slowly I un-balled my fists and stretched out my legs and relaxed, letting my joints and my petty worries sink into the soft sheets.

And as I did, I began to thank God.

Thank Him for those situations I had been worrying over. Thank Him for the people I was worrying about. Thank Him that He holds tomorrow and that He has it all worked out better than I ever could anyway.

And I thought of this…

So often when a problem comes, we fail to fold our hands in prayer. Instead, we clench them into fists of made-up control, or busy them in work trying to provide for ourselves. We try to hold on when we should be letting go.

What if we simply folded them in prayer instead? And not just prayer, but praise as well?

It worked for me that night. That mind that I couldn’t shut off? Once I started to thank the Lord for the many things on my mind, I was asleep in 5 minutes flat.

I’ve heard that if a person doesn’t exercise his mind or his body on a given day, sleep will be long in coming. Either your body will be craving more work instead of more rest, or your mind will be trying to work after being at ease all day. It seems to be true. Often if I can’t sleep, reading a book or working on a mind game will help.

But now I have a new exercise plan: praise. Try it, it may just work wonders in your life as well!


Be careful for nothing;
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God,
which passeth all understanding,,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

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