Thoughts on sleep from a regular insomniac

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I frequently lay awake in wait of sleep that eludes me. Ever since middle school english class, I think of Macbeth crying out:

“Methought I heard a voice cry, ‘Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep’ —the innocent sleep, Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.” 

I absolutely love how Macbeth refers to sleep as the ‘balm of hurt minds’. How true it is! How many days have you returned home weary, tired, and sorrowful only to wake up the next morning with an entirely different outlook? What a gift from God sleep is (not that I’m saying you are actually cursed if you have insomnia)! Just think of how we take a good night’s rest and a new day for granted. 

I’ve come to believe that every aspect of our being, surroundings, and daily lives reflect the nature of God. Sleep is a physical, mental, and emotional renewal. It is a symbol of casting away our old distorted nature and putting on the new one, which is being made into the image of Christ our saviour (Ephesians 4:24). It is a reflection of the relationship between repentance and forgiveness: the darkness is cast out by the light of day who is Christ and His salvation. 

Furthermore, it is one of the only times (if not the only time) when we are completely still and vulnerable in front of our creator – an attitude we must learn to continuously adopt. Sleep is a time of humility. Sleep is also a time of honesty. I can pretend to be whoever I want when I am awake, but I cannot control my image or actions while I sleep. 

Lord I pray that we never take rest in any of the forms you ordained for us (spiritual, emotional, or physical) for granted. I pray that we can be even more honest, humble, and vulnerable before you when we are awake than while we are sleeping. I pray that you grant us a peaceful night sleep, guarded by your angels, and blessed by your presence. In your name, Jesus Christ, Amen. 

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