On Saturday evening my head was pounding and I felt half present, the result of a summer cold that hit me hard and knocked me down. It was a lovely holiday, filled with friends, family, activity, food, and games. But the stress on my body from lack of sleep and busy work and home schedules caught up with me.
So at 9pm, suddenly alone, I found myself sobbing. It all felt too much. I felt inadequate, I felt weak, most of all I felt tired. The whole world seemed upside down. And then I slept.
It is amazing how my perspective can change after a good sleep.
One of the things I love about the Psalms is how they speak to human need, whether it be fear, depression, hunger, thirst, or sleep. The Psalmist is unafraid to voice his honest thoughts to God in the form of beautiful poetry. And Psalm 3:5 speaks to the perspective offered after a good night’s sleep:
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
We have bodies that function best when they are cared for. Cared for in the proper sense, with healthy foods, exercise, and adequate sleep. And so many places in my faith tradition point to a God who understands our humanity, sees the complete picture. From offering breakfast on the banks of the Lake of Galilee to feeding a massive crowd who was growing hungry, we see he meets the needs of the whole person, takes into account our human frailty. And so it should be with me, understanding the person as a whole, changing my care to take into account tired bodies and worn souls.
How are you frail today? Where do you need a God who will offer you rest? Where do you need a friend who will walk beside you offering tea and hope in the journey?
3 thoughts on “And Then I Slept”
It’s amazing what a good night of restful sleep can do for the body, mind, and spirit. Sleep deprivation is all too common in our modern day society. I think of Elijah who, worn out and tired, lay under a juniper bush and wanted to die. He fell asleep, was ministered to by an angel who gave him food and drink. After eating he went back to sleep. Sleep gave him energy and courage and he kept on going. Sleep is essential to our health and well-being. Thanks Marilyn for addressing this need.
I love that story of Elijah– again that picture of a God who knows us so completely! Thanks for this reminder.
So true! I find myself disappointingly prone to low blood sugar levels as I get older, and really need to eat regularly. And living overseas makes me so much more tired. I have to work so much harder to get enough sleep than I ever did before, and that was way back when I was nursing and pregnant all the time! I totally believe what you’re saying here.