The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. Psalm 23:1-2
Are you getting enough rest? One of the “spokes” on the physical wheel* is rest; it is one of our physical needs and it is a gift from God. God designed sleep and even an entire day of the week to be a day of rest for us. I think as women, and especially Moms, the old adage “a mother’s work is never done” is true and we can become weary if we don’t accept the rest God offers us or don’t seek help if there are physical reasons we are unable to get rest.
What are some of the things that hinder our sleep and rest?
- Interruptions (new baby, sick children, snoring husband, sunlight, etc.)
How can we get more rest?
There are seasons of life that make getting enough sleep a challenge. I think it is important to recognize the need and take the necessary steps to make it happen. Winston Churchill said, Fatigue makes cowards of us all. We need rest so we have the courage and strength to meet the demands we face.
- Rest when your children rest. I planned an hour of rest time for my children each day after lunch when they were young, even when they were old enough that they didn’t need to nap. I explained that they could read or play quietly alone in their rooms and I took that time to rest or read as well. We all got along better in the afternoon after that break!
- Go to bed when your husband does (as Lori recommends in the Keepers study); hopefully you can fall asleep before he begins sawing logs.
- Install blackout shades if light interrupts your sleep too early.
- See a doctor. Viruses are annoying but are usually short lived. If, however, sleeplessness lasts for a prolonged period of time, seek medical help to try to find the root cause. Insomnia is a side effect of many illnesses or may indicate a need for an adjustment to medication dosage.
- Pray. If anxiety and worries are keeping you awake or awaken you during the night, take that opportunity to pray and cast your cares on the One who cares for you (1Peter 5:7, Phil. 4:6-7). Read Psalm 3 and 4 in which King David is fleeing for his life from his rebellious son, Absolom. David says, I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His Holy Mountain. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. The same God hears when you cry out to Him and He will sustain you.
- Evaluate your schedule. Are there some things that need to be eliminated so you can get enough rest? Do you need to delegate more to others? Prioritize your work to make sure you get the most important things done; leave till last the things that could wait till tomorrow. Remember to rely on Christ for wisdom in this. What is it He wants you to accomplish today?
- Enjoy the Sabbath. God takes our need for rest so seriously and he knows our nature so well that he made it a commandment. We honor God when we obey Him in this and gratefully enjoy the day of rest He graciously provides. (Exodus 20:10-11)
- Confess your sin. Our sin can keep us awake. When King David did not repent and confess his sin of adultery and murder, God chastened him both emotionally and physically (see Psalm 32:1-8). Day and night God’s hand was heavy upon him until he confessed and was forgiven.
Jesus said, Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) What a beautiful promise; it is a promise for you…I hope and pray that you will accept His offer and find rest in Christ today.
**I would like to thank and give credit to the Ministries of Jesus (MOJ) Clinic, a ministry of Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, OK, for the Wheels of Health idea and illustration, which is based on the bookGod’s Design for the Highly Healthy Person by Walt Larimore, M.D. (www.DrWalt.com ).
(Carla and her husband Clyde will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year. With six sons and one daughter, there is never a dull moment in the Collier home! She enjoys tennis, reading and writing. Carla serves as the website editor on the Keepers Ministry Team.)
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