I climbed into bed about 11pm last night, a bit later than my norm, and quickly fell fast asleep. The morning came far too quickly and I sat on the edge of the bed, staring at the clock with bleary eyes, trying to make sense of the numbers. They weren’t computing.
It took me a full fifteen seconds to finally realize it was only just past midnight. The most delightful sense of relief washed over me and I smiled in the dark. Not only did I not have to get up yet, I could rest for hours. What a luxury!
Besides the blessing of more sleep, I was even more grateful I did not have to start thinking about the various tasks and issues I must attend to this week. Research the upcoming sermon series on prayer, finish planning the Leadership Team retreat, review the directory and make needed contacts, pray for unity within our country and church family, prep for counseling meetings, and several dozen other minor tasks not worth mentioning … I had God’s blessing to leave every last one of these with him and simply rest.
God always takes the night shift and tells me not to worry about a thing. “Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). In fact, it’s not my hard work that really carries the day anyway. “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).
When the alarm finally did go off five hours later, I was rested and ready to get to it. But my midnight encounter was still on my mind and I sensed God inviting me to tackle work with the same dependence as my sleep. The little three-verse Psalm 131 came to mind.
My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, both now and forevermore.