Know that the Lord is God, it is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3 (NIV)
Do you ever have problems sleeping? If you’re like me, you dread going to sleep. It’s not that I’m not exhausted by the day’s hectic schedule; it’s that when I try to fall asleep it seems to take me forever. I lie in bed while random thoughts swirl through my head. Most nights I try to stay up as long as possible so that I’m so tired that I just fall into bed. But, what usually happens is that I fall asleep on a chair or couch and end up waking up at some random hour with a huge pain in my back or neck.
Sometimes I try to go to bed earlier so that in theory I will get more sleep, but that normally backfires and I wake up at 3:00 AM wide awake. What happened to the days when I couldn’t wait to fall asleep and I would rest peacefully and soundly until 9 or 10 AM the next morning? Now I’m lucky if I get 6 hours of sleep a night.
The main problem that I have when trying to go to sleep is quieting the random thoughts that go through my head. I wish I could say that these thoughts were positive, but usually nighttime is when the negative, restless thoughts wander in circles like vultures above my head.
The other day I was talking with my mom on the phone about my lack of sleep and she suggested I try counting sheep. I paused on the line and then replied sarcastically, “Mom, I’m not 10 years old.” She laughed and said, “No, what I mean is get out your Bible before bed and start looking at all the times where sheep are mentioned.” My mom always has an underlying message in her meaning so I asked her to elaborate.
The word sheep is found over 500 times in the Bible, so counting them would make you rather exhausted, it’s true. But the real reason to dwell on the word sheep is to remind us that we are all sheep. God is our Shepherd. We don’t have to worry or obsess over life’s problems because He is our guide. Psalm 100:3 says, “Know that the Lord is God.” If we recognize that God is Lord of all and is in control, we have no reason to fear sleep or anything else. The next part of the verse says, “It is he who made us, we are his, we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Four times God puts his mark on us in this verse, “He made us, we are His, we are His people, and we are His sheep.” God has branded us as His sheep. The next time you have trouble with sleep, remember to open your Bible and count the sheep!
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Action Item |
If you have trouble sleeping, try reciting a verse that brings comfort before bed. Next, offer that verse as a prayer to God and as you pray take some deep breaths and allow calm and relaxation to take over.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for watching over me while I sleep. You are the great Shepherd. Remove any worries and insecurities that may enter my thoughts during the night and allow me to rest peacefully.
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