Sleep. Who doesn’t love a great night’s sleep. The older I get the more precious sleep becomes.
If you been reading much lately, you have likely seen more and more articles and books on the enormous importance of a great night’s sleep. “Sleep Smarter” by Shawn Stevenson is a great resource for getting a great night’s sleep, and other outstanding books like “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown, and “The Power of Full Engagement” by James Loehr and Tony Schwartz speak to the importance of regular and consistent sleep.
As I have recently been reflecting on Christmas, and more precisely on the gift of Jesus, one thing that has struck me quite unexpectedly was considering the kind of sleep that Jesus got when he was a baby and then as he grew older.
It might sound foolish to think about, but I would like you to ponder with me what kind of sleep Jesus got. (This will come back to you!)
Of course as a young baby probably did not sleep through the night. Even being sinless, I doubt he slept through the night right away. 🙂
But I would like to think that since he was loved so well by Mary and Joseph (I’m very confident about that), and even more so, that since he had no sin in him, that his capacity to receive love and trust love was beyond something we can fully appreciate. That remarkable capacity to receive love means he could receive the peace that love brings on very deep levels, which would point to a much better chance at a super night’s sleep.
Then, I have to imagine at an early age he began to have hints that his ultimate Father was none other than God the Father, (clearly this was real to him by the time he was 12, as we read in Luke 2:49), and that as he began to know the love, goodness and power of his ultimate Father on deeper and deeper levels in his soul, that his sleep somehow got even better.
Then, as the Holy Spirit became more and more familiar to him, (especially after his baptism at around 30) and as he began able sense the Holy Spirit’s promptings more and more–which meant knowing on even deeper levels that he truly is God’s Son, and that he is never truly alone–must have only aided his ability to sleep when it was time to sleep.
Of course I’m sure there were some nights when it was tough to sleep. And of course on the night of his betrayal he didn’t sleep at all, when his best friends couldn’t help but fall asleep. (There are times when we are not supposed to be sleeping!)
Yet now, this man who entered the world as a baby, now sits at the right hand of the Father. Now he is completely glorified. Now he knows peace, rest, joy and happiness like no one else in the Universe. Like no one else.
This man can give peace like no other (John 14:27).
So, when you are grappling with falling asleep, when worrying or trouble is keeping you up, I encourage you to think about the wonderful sleep Jesus likely got at various points of his life.
Try imagining his deep sleep as as a toddler or young child. Imagine him falling asleep easily as young man with a growing sense of who he is and how much his Father loved him.
Imagine him peacefully falling asleep at night during his active ministry with a clear sense of how proud his Father was of the work that he was doing.
Now, consider how much the Father loves you. How your soul is truly is safe in His hands. How he is so likely pleased with you and your good efforts, partially because He is so so generous. Consider that He has tomorrow all figured out, and will be with you no matter what comes your way. Consider that at some point in time, you will be completely safe and live in His Kingdom, where fear and sin and loss are nowhere to be found.
I pray these images may bring a smile to your face, and that one of them, or something like it, might be a part of helping you receive the wonderful gift of a good night’s sleep.
May you getting a better night’s sleep more often help you help you live out his good dreams for you more and more of the time.
Praise be to the Giver of Great Gifts!
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