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The Gift of Rest

“For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep” (Psalm 127:2).

According to the Palmist, God’s good and gracious watch care covers not only the waking moments of our day, but He continues to give even when we are sleeping.

Years ago, I became aware that a day in the Jewish culture extended from sundown to sundown. That is why the Sabbath Day began at sundown on Friday and extended until sundown on Saturday. As I pondered that fact, I concluded, that if that is true, then God's first gift of a new day was a night’s rest.

Bear with me a moment here. Most of us treat the dawn hours as the beginning of the new day. That new day is often greeted with the buzzing of an alarm clock, jolting us awake from a deep sleep. From there we jump out of bed, hurrying through a shower and shave, bolstering ourselves with an early morning cup of coffee, probably just the first of the morning to help us jump start our still sleeping metabolism. Then out the door we go, making every effort to get to our job on time.

Let’s now consider God’s design. In the sundown-to-sundown day, the first gift that we enjoy is a night’s rest. I, for one, have become conscious of this reality. When I lay my head on my pillow at the end of the day, in that moment, I specifically thank God that His first gift to me of the new day is a night’s rest. Rest that will refresh, not only my body, but also my mind and my spirit, because “He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”

As I drift off to sleep, I pray that God will protect my mind and my heart from evil or disturbing dreams. I pray that I might awaken in the morning with joy in my heart and a renewed enthusiasm to face the challenges and opportunities of the day that lays out before me.

You may consider this as some kind of mind game that I play with myself. Whatever. But I can tell you this, it has changed my whole spiritual, mental, and physical posture in regards going to bed at night and then rising in the morning. And I am more aware than ever before, of God’s working in my life, whether I am awake or asleep. “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24).

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