Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (ATP)
My sleep has always been plagued my entire life – not able to fall asleep, can’t stay asleep, wake up frequently, and even when I do sleep I am haunted in my dreams by scenarios of doing wrong. I’ve tried “man’s medicine” and it has helped some, but I need to overcome this. How can I fortify myself against these attacks each night before I lay down?
This is a good question and one I’m sure has multiple people wondering the answer to. Sleep is an interesting animal. We need sleep, but more importantly we need restful sleep. Let’s look at Proverbs 3:21-24, “…Keep sound wisdom and discretion; So they will be life to your soul And grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.” Notice the beginning and the end of this set of scriptures. Keep sound wisdom, God’s wisdom and discretion, meaning purpose and intent. When you lie down you will not be afraid, but rather you’ll have sweet sleep. The number one way we will sleep sweetly is if we’ve laid down worry and picked up His wisdom.
The world gives us a whole lot to think about, worry about, and take cares over. It’s important that we do our part to cast these cares. 1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” That word cast means to throw them onto the Lord without taking them back. We can say we’re doing this, but let’s imagine what this looks like in our daily life. What kind of home are we living in? Is it a place of chaos or a place of order. This matters. What kinds of things are we watching or listening to before we go to bed? We’ve known children tormented and haunted in the night by nightmares only to find out the dark and demonic movies and video games they are filling their time with. How have you been living and following Jesus? Anxiety will often accompany things we know to do and don’t, or things we know not to do and do. The Lord calls us to examine ourselves. This goes hand in hand with casting our cares.
We’re also probably familiar with Philippians 4:6-7, which reminds us to, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” That word anxious is key. We may not think there’s anything wrong. We may think we’re in faith and at peace but there’s something that has us anxious on the inside or stirring in us to the point of affecting our sleep. The Bible here says that the Lord will guard our hearts and minds. He does that through His Word. Look at verse 8, Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” It’s our part to fill up on His truths and with His truths He’ll show us the path to peace.
John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
His peace is for us. His peaceful sleep is included in that but it’s our job to position ourselves in that place. Examine our life. Is it conducive to peace? Examine how we go to bed. Is it in a place of being filled up on the right thoughts? Correcting these two things will help us all have more restful night sleep.