It’s after 8pm. So being an obedient Manatee County resident, I’m off the streets. Waiting.
Marathon runners know what this feels like. You’ve prepped all you can for your race. You’ve laid everything out for the next morning. The alarm is set; you know because you’ve checked it a gazillion times. You’ve stretched, or not. You’ve attached your race bib, or not. You’ve prepared your liquids, or not. You most certainly have eaten your last meal and properly hydrated. And now you wait. The long night has started; and if it’s your first 26.1, it will most likely feel like the longest night of your life.
You make yourself go to bed; and after about an hour of asking yourself ridiculous questions about tomorrow, you somehow fall asleep…only to wake up thinking the alarm didn’t work because surely the night is over, but the clock says it’s been less than two hours. If you’re lucky, you’ll repeat this cycle a couple of times. And each time you ask yourself another question before falling asleep, “Why can’t I stay asleep?”
And from my experience, here’s the answer-anticipation of the unknown.
- Can I make it the full distance?
- What if it starts raining?
- They say you hit a wall at mile 18. What does that feel like?
- Did my training plan really prepare me?
- How will I feel when it’s over?
These questions can go on and on. And they probably will until the race startgun sounds. And then, for the most part, after about mile two, they stop. You’re not normal if they don’t return at some point during the race, but you find a way to cross the finish line.
So here’s to the night before. You’ve done all you can. Followed your game plan. Put your trust in the right hands. Prayed for endurance to last all the way to the finish line.
It will come. One way or another, it will come.
But right now, it’s the night before. And you wait.
Think about that finish line. It will come.
(A simple series highlighting verses from each chapter of the book of Proverbs)
Maintain your competence and discretion. My son, don’t lose sight of them. They will be life for you and adornment for your neck. Then you will go safely on your way; your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant. Proverbs 3:21-24
Full of Fear? Having Difficulty Sleeping?
The remedy for fear and lose of sleep-maintaining competence and discretion.
So, what if you don’t possess those naturally?
- Seek counsel from those who have them.
- Acquire mentoring to grow in them.
- Seek God through his word and prayer to obtain his competence and discretion.
“Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah” Psalms 4:3-4 HCSB
Often people tell me they aren’t getting good sleep. Just yesterday two people talked to me about their sleep. One of them “couldn’t sleep” the night before. The other one said they used to have to take pills to sleep, but since they’ve started addressing things in their life they are at more peace and don’t rely on pills anymore to sleep.
Learning to be still with God in the darkness of night or the early hours of morning is a sign of the faithful. These verses give three things that should keep one from needing drugs to sleep:
1) Know who the Lord honors and values, know he hears when you call on Him.
2) Be angry but don’t sin. It’s normal to have anger. It’s also human to sin. Sleep is lost when anger is allowed to harbor sin, not confess it, or keep you enslaved to it.
3) Reflect in your heart and be still. Recently when I’ve woken up either from a dream or earlier than the alarm, I’ve practiced being still and talking with God about whatever He’s bringing to my mind. Sleep, peace and rest are the result of bed stillness.