The One About Sleeping Peacefully

sleeping like a baby ironicHave you ever thought about how daft the phrase sleeping like a baby is?

Babies do sleep peacefully at times, but they are also helpless. If they have a wet or dirty nappy, they have been sick or they feel unwell then they have to attract their parents or carers attention and they do that by crying.

Babies don’t cry because they are being naughty, they cry because they are in need or because they feel alone or afraid. As a father of 4 children, I fully understand the frustration with babies who won’t sleep and the effect that that has on parents or carers.

Sleep is so important!

I was reading Psalm 4 earlier today which says

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. (v8)

This verse is incredible when you understand what was going on in the life of David who wrote this. Listen to his pain:

How long will you people ruin my reputation?
How long will you make groundless accusations?
How long will you continue your lies? (v2)

When we feel criticized or attacked by others it will often affect our sleep. At that time when we need to switch off and go to sleep our minds come alive as we think about what is going on. Perhaps we focus on how unfair the situation is or how cruel the people involved are. Or maybe we feel angry and that anger easily leads to plotting revenge or hoping that our accusers will suffer in some way.

From this place of frustration, David reminds himself and us that we shouldn’t let anger control us (v4), but that instead we need to be at peace and sleep. David finds this peace by looking to God. He reminds himself to ‘trust in the Lord’ (v5), that instead of trying to fix the problem or to think about revenge that our focus and reliance should be on and in God.

David prayed, ‘Let your face smile on us, Lord’ (v6). As I read this, it makes me think of a parent leaning over a cot smiling and reaching out towards their child who is feels alone and afraid. The reassuring smile of a parent is a wonderful thing.

As he thinks about God’s smile, David was reminded that God had brought him greater joy that anything else in life (v7).

You see, David sleeping in peace wasn’t the result of a miraculous tranquilizer dart from heaven. It was the result of him turning from his anger and stress and receiving peace from God. Sometimes we blame God for not doing a miracle when God is waiting for us to look to and to be open to him to bring change and transformation to us before he can transform our situation.

Next time we can’t sleep, let’s give our stress to God and ask his face to smile on us. As we pour out our stress and anger, we make room for God’s peace and love and then we can pray like David,

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. (v8)

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About honestaboutmyfaith

Hi, my name is Graeme and I’m married to a very patient wife. We have 4 children, 2 rabbits, a terrapin (and not a lot of peace and quiet!). I’m a Baptist Minister who is especially interested in making Church accessible to people who have no church background and also in how we disciple people in order to equip them to live out their faith in the 21st Century. I am also a member of the Eastern Baptist Association's Council with responsibility for Mission Strategy.
This entry was posted in change, Faith, God is our father, God is with us, God loves us, parenting, peace and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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