Psalm 4 (adapted)
“When you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices and trust in the Lord.” ~
Someone once asked, “Is it okay that I fall asleep when I’m praying at night; I feel guilty.”
My response, “It is absolutely okay to fall asleep while you’re praying! In fact, I cannot think of a more lovely way … than to fall asleep in the arms of God.”
How do you fall asleep? Do you have a routine? Are you able to turn off your mind? Many people can do that and then relax and fall asleep; others have a more difficult time letting go of their circular thoughts; anxiety seems to rise when the sun sets.
Pondering events of the day or week is normal; in fact, it can be helpful to make a mental list of accomplishments or the places where we fall short of expectations; it becomes problematic when “woulda, coulda, shoulda” dominates our hearts and minds. Insomnia, or the inability to sleep, though sometimes caused by a serious medical condition which requires specific treatment, is also exacerbated by nagging thoughts, guilt, anger, and grief. Sometimes it is important to seek outside support from loved ones, a pastor, a counselor, or your physician.
We tend to be hard on ourselves and on others, and it is easy to imagine that God feels the same way. Often, those feelings are connected to a need to control and to a fear of change; there is an anxiety associated with “letting go” … Mostly, we have an ingrained fear of failure. Reinhold Niebuhr once said, “Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”
What if that became your closing thought tonight, “Lord, I am willing to surrender what I am for who I can become.” … And then allow your heart to listen for direction in your dreams …
Psalm 4 ~ “Let the light of your face shine on us. Fill our hearts with joy. In peace, we will rest, for you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety.” Amen