A rest refresher for sweet sleep

sleep

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Pain and problems are opportunities to demonstrate your trust in Me. Bearing your circumstances bravely- even thanking Me for them- is one of the highest forms of praise. When suffering strikes, remember that I am sovereign and that I can bring good out of everything. Do not try to run from pain or hide from problems. Instead, accept adversity in My Name, offering it up to Me for My purposes. Your suffering gains meaning and draws you closer to Me. Joy emerges from the ashes of adversity through your trust and thankfulness. -Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

When you are enduring a trial of any kind it is important to rest. Rest will allow your mind and body have the perseverance needed to finish the work. God gives us rest but it’s easy for us to block that gift with worry or anxiety. A. D. Sertillanges devotes a whole section in “The Intellectual Life: Its Spirits, Conditions, and Methods” about how to rest- it may sound silly but we may need a refresher course in how to rest (see what I did there? A “refresher” course in how to “rest”). Sertillanges suggested:

  • Don’t delay sleep by forcing yourself to stay awake. Make sleep a priority for you because sleep works for you, when you sleep your will relaxes and you surrender.
  • Your brain works for you while you’re asleep. Keep a notepad and pen by your bed ready to write down thoughts that wake you while you’re sleeping (avoid turning on the light).
  • When you wake in the morning jot down your thoughts- they may be the most lucid of the day and they may make sense as your day progresses.
  • Manage the evening- don’t leave the schedule to chance.
  • Evening should be still, holy, and quiet- in preparation for really restorative sleep.
  • Reflect on the day and set the plan for tomorrow.
  • Use the evening to restore energy, not expend it (no sports or recreation late in the evening).
  • As you fall asleep think about your questions or developing ideas and then consciously trust them to God as you fall 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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