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Sleep has always been a thorn in my side. I am a night owl who is required to rise early, and while I meet my responsibilities that require me to rise early, falling asleep is never easy. It doesn’t matter if I go to bed early, drink tea, take sleep aids, or try relaxation techniques. Those methods help to some degree, but they aren’t enough to lull me into a relaxing full night’s sleep.
I lie there tossing and turning, counting down the hours until I will have to get up. I begin to worry not only about what I may have forgotten, but also about whether I will get enough sleep. My mind races to figure out how to ensure that I have the energy I believe will be required to accomplish what I have planned for the next day.
Anxiety takes over because I pressure myself to perfectly manipulate circumstances that are beyond my control to prevent a sleepless night.
Then God reminds me that I am following Him, not the other way around. He has a better plan for my day than I can dream up as I lie in bed with my scattered thoughts. If I knew the outcomes of all that He was orchestrating, I would choose His plan over mine, but selfishly, I get caught up in my own schemes.
Ephesians 3:20 -21 (ESV) refers to God as “[he] who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” Even knowing God’s power and wisdom, I trap myself into thinking I need to coordinate my version of what He has planned.
As I lie in bed at night, trying to construct a plan to complete my list of grandiose goals, I forget that my purpose is not to check off all of the items on my selfish task list. I forget that God can accomplish more than I can ever imagine. I forget that He doesn’t need my help to accomplish His plans.
If God has called me to do something, He will give me the strength and energy to accomplish it. He never said I have to make sure that I have the strength and resources for a tough day. Instead, He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9), and “my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Even if I don’t get the sleep I think I need to survive the next day or if I fail to figure out the best way to manipulate my time, I cannot stop what God has planned. He will have me ready for any task that He wants me to complete. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
God isn’t bringing together events to bring us to the right place at the right time to do His work only to be surprised when we face obstacles at the last minute.
He is with us when we are going through obstacles such as insomnia, and He is with us when He asks us to follow Him throughout the next day. Our struggles are often part of the preparation for what God has planned for us, but we often view them as a hindrance.
It has taken me years to realize and to truly believe that God is not hindered by my struggle with sleep. As I learn to trust Him more, I gradually find more rest.
It is hard to remember that God is in control when we have so many responsibilities pulling us in so many directions. However, He will always provide what we truly need in each of our circumstances. God’s provision may not be what we think we need, but they will be more than sufficient to bring us to where He knows is the best place for us to be.
Related post: What Does It Truly Mean to Rest?