“Getting up early and going to bed late”

“For the Lord provides for those he loves, while they are asleep.” (Psalms 127: 2) Nobody ever said this was going to be easy. Nobody ever said our life our career or our relationships or any part of this was going to be a breeze and yet the psalmist in the three statements above utters ideas so counter to what we’re taught that our first reaction has to be “I beg to differ.”

If culture teaches us anything it is that we do have to work hard and that entails getting up early and burning the midnight oil. Relying on some cosmic Santa to magically provide for us while we slumber just doesn’t seem realistic. However, I think where we go off the rails lies in one word, “provides”.

When we think of providing for someone we think food, shelter, clothing and other things that money can buy. The psalmist, IMO, isn’t talking about these at all. He’s talking about rest. He’s talking about recharging our batteries both physically and mentally. He’s talking about providing the spiritual replenishment of what we really need because we do have to work for a living. The message of this verse is not that we can sit on our backside and wait for things. The message here is that we need to look to the Lord for what we truly hunger and thirst for.

From research we know all kinds of things happen while we sleep. Our bodies rest, which is needed physically. They repair damaged tissue. Our minds work at assimilating what we’ve learned during the day into our memory and into our cognitive toolbox for use at a later date. Without the benefits of sleep we fall apart physically and mentally. We were made to require rest. We’re just put together that way.

So from a practical perspective the psalmist is spot on that we are provided for while we sleep. And since we were made by one much wiser than us it stands to reason that our design is such that sleep provides what we need. It’s really quite amazing if you think about it. Imagine a battery that is used all day, drained way down of its charge and then removed from whatever it powered and left to sit on the shelf overnight, to rest. If that battery somehow recharged itself to go again by morning it would be hailed as revolutionary. And that’s us. We’re provided what we need while we sleep, which is rest. I, for one, am thankful for that.

Ask anyone with insomnia or anxiety about not being able to rest and you’ll see the value of it. We tend to not acknowledge that in our culture but it’s undeniable. Maybe you push yourself too hard or you know someone who doesn’t allow themselves to rest. If this might help them see things a little differently I hope you’ll share it.

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