It was one of those nights. I couldn’t sleep, not matter what. I occupied my eyes-open time by praying for friends and family. I got up and walked around. And, it came to me . . .
God never sleeps.
He never did! He’s on duty day and night, everywhere in the world, everywhere in the universe—outer space included—all the time!
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Bible indicates that, at least in some instances, God gives the blessing of sleep to His people:
- He giveth his beloved sleep (Psalm 127:2b).
- When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet (Proverbs 3:24).
- Jesus said to His disciples at Gethsemane, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners (Matthew 26:45b).
God is eternally awake and eternally present in every sense. The whole concept of eternity is more than we can understand—forever living into the past and forever into the future, yet always living in an eternal present. We know that God doesn’t need to sleep. He is infinitely, always involved in the affairs of the world. He is there—for us, for the world, for the universe—forever and ever and ever.
What does this mean for us?
- Security—I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).
- Sleep is a reward for hard work.—The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep (Ecclesiastes 5:12).
- Jesus gives rest to our souls. He said, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).
- It’s time to wake up and live holy lives for God.—And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed (Romans 13:11).
So, what's the problem when you can’t sleep? Does it mean you’re in sin?
- It’s possible. The Bible says in several places that they (the wicked, verse 14) sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall (Proverbs 4:16).
- You might be anxious. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing 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).
- It’s also possible that God is giving you time to communicate with Him. When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches (Psalm 63:6).
The next time you’re awake at night, and you’d like to be sleeping:
- Confess any known sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
- Pray for others and for your own needs. Pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16b).
- If you’re anxious, tell God all about your concerns. He promises peace. (Philippians 4:7, above)
- Rehearse memorized Scriptures in your head. Nothing soothes the soul like the Bible. (I love to go over Psalm 23, 34, 100, and 121 when I can’t sleep.)
- Praise God for Who He is and thank Him for your blessings. I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high (Psalm 7:17).
Good night, sleep tight . . . and if not, enjoy fellowship with God.