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The Lord gives sleep

In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
    for he grants sleep to those he loves.
- Psalm 127:2
 
Why does the Lord give sleep? Not because we’ve put in long hours. Not because we’ve worked hard. Just because he loves us.
 
All around the world people sleep every night. He loves them.
A child who’s never even heard the name of Jesus sleeps soundly. He loves him.
A teenager rails against her parents’ rules and falls asleep crying. He loves her.
A man chases his addiction into the bottom of a mug and passes out. He loves him.
A mother tries to pray for her kids and coworkers but can’t keep her eyes open. He loves her.
 
Jesus’ disciples slept in the Garden of Gethsemane and received in that intense moment a gift from the God who loves them.
 
Every night when you drift off to sleep, you have a powerful reminder that you are loved by God. On the days when sleep chases you down for a bear hug and on the days when you pursue sleep across the tundra, day after day you can choose to view sleep as a sign of your belovedness.
 
A pastoral word: you are loved by God. On your sleepless nights, he stands vigil with you. His gifts may be unopened, but he does not confiscate them. He has compassion on all that he has made and gives to his beloved sleep.
 
What is your attitude toward sleep? Does it seem like a gift and blessing? Does it feel like a point of frustration or a punishment? How does God fit into it for you?

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