Fighting Sleep

Fighting Sleep


I remember holding Rachel when she was a baby. Whether it was in the evening hours when she was tired, or at naptime, she would always get all snuggly in my arms, and pretty soon, she would be contentedly sleeping in my arms. I used to love to watch her as she would start to fight sleep, and then even as she fell asleep, sometimes I’d have a hard time wanting to put her in her crib. It was just so precious to watch her sleeping so peacefully!


I think we get so caught up in thinking of God in His holiness, righteousness, and in His fatherly role that we forget that He also has the same feelings toward us as we have toward our children, as we watch them, peacefully sleeping. We don’t often remember God has a soft, tender, motherly side to Him.


Recently, I overheard a conversation where some ladies were dealing with feelings of guilt for falling asleep at night when they were trying to pray. If that was the only time I talked to the Lord, I suppose I may feel the same way. But since I do talk to the Lord many times during the day, I think of it as a precious time of curling up in my Lord’s lap, letting His arms hold me securely. Before I know it, I am fighting sleep, just the way that Rachel used to do when she was in my arms. Next thing I know, I’m sound asleep, content in Daddy’s arms.


In Matthew 23:37, Jesus talks of wanting to gather Jerusalem, as a mother hen tries to gather her chicks under her wings, yet Jerusalem wasn’t willing. Daughter, are you willing to let Him gather you under His wings?


You’ve probably heard parents talking about their new baby, saying that the child is ‘the apple of my eye.’ Daughter, you are the apple of God’s eye. (Zechariah 2:8) He delights in watching you, even in those hours when you fall asleep while trying to pray.


Have you ever had moments when you sat there, watching your children, unnoticed? We can take great delight in watching them in those moments. They are so precious. God takes great delight in you, dear one. (Zephaniah 3:17) He loves to behold you, even as you sleep.


There are those times when a child will come running to Mommy, crying out in disappointment, frustration, or even in pain. Mommy will pick up her baby, hold her close, and whisper, “Shhh, it’s OK.” Sometimes a simple, loving kiss to a ‘boo-boo’ will fix things and quiet them. God wants to quiet you with His love. (Zephaniah 3:17) In those hours when you are finding it so hard to stay awake and focus on prayer, maybe your Father just wants to quiet you with His love, giving you a much-needed peaceful rest.


Just as a mother can’t forget the babe at her breast, nor can she have no sense of compassion on the babe, neither can God forget you. He’s even engraved your name on the palm of His hand. (Is. 49:15-16) God uses these kinds of illustrations in His Word to show us His tender heart toward us. Daughter, don’t feel guilty because you may fall asleep at night while trying to pray. God knows you so well. He knows the busy, stressful day you’ve had. Just as we have compassion on our children when they’ve had a rough day, God does the same for us. Look at it as a gift from Him. He knows you need to rest, so Daughter, are you ready to quit fighting sleep and just rest contentedly in your Father’s arms?

© 2005, Stacy R. Miller


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