I cried unto the Lord with my voice,
and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
I laid me down and slept;
I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people,
that have set themselves against me round about. – Psalm 3.4-6
Sleep. How precious it is. But, for some of us, how elusive it is.
I wish I was a better sleeper. I don’t think I ever have been a good sleeper. I have found things to do that help, but too often my problem is not insomnia, but it is a matter of fretting, or worrying, or, to put it bluntly, my inability to sleep is because I lack what David expressed in this psalm.
David had plenty to worry about. He was seemingly always on the run from his enemies. Often he was being chased by the Philistines and there were times when he was running from King Saul.
Can you imagine what it is like to try to sleep in camp when the enemy is right outside your camp? I have often wondered how soldiers sleep the night before a battle. I guess I can understand how soldiers keep sleep out of sheer exhaustion, but what about when it is still quiet and you know the battle is coming. How do you sleep?
I lose sleep fretting about every little thing about tomorrow and the next day and next week and even years down the road.
But David had the answer – ‘I laid me down and slept and I awoke the next morning.’
‘Because I knew the Lord sustained me I will not be afraid even if I am surrounded by a multitude.’
What a testimony and what a challenge to me. I realise that sometimes there are real reasons for insomnia and that happens to me sometimes. But most of my sleep problems come because I really wonder, somewhere in my mind, if the Lord really can sustain me. When I forget that the Lord sustains me I will be afraid of the enemy that surrounds me. When I forget that the Lord sustains me I cannot ‘lay me down and sleep.’