Why Christians Should All Sleep Together

sleep-102436_640It always happens while I sleep.
New life appears.
Take my Catalpa tree.
When I laid down to rest last night
it was still just a tree in bud
but this morning, fat, full-grown leaves
hang from every stem like a lush, green afro.
One of the many signs that God lives and is active in the world.
While I’m asleep,
He renews my perspective,
revives my faith,
and restores my soul.
So the languishing branches of my denuded
spirit are replenished, come morning, with the full-grown leaves of
re-creation.
All this
just because I put my head down on a pillow
and closed my eyes for eight hours.
It’s no surprise that our country suffers
from an epidemic of sleep deprivation.
It is evident of our rampant idolatry.
The results are widespread
and serious.
For all the complaining people do about God’s rules,
sin is the task-master that drives us to work and play ourselves into an early grave.
Harder, faster, harder, faster, more, more, more
This is the chant of the demonic rhythm-master on board Satan’s galley ship
and too many of us are chained to the oars, rowing, rowing, rowing
unable to stop or to free ourselves from our fruitless labor.
God’s people should be well-rested.
Our faith is not in our labors nor our long-hours but in God alone.
Many of us Christians aren’t well-rested
and that’s something we should examine.
Perhaps, if there are those of us who are not well-rested, it’s because we aren’t going to Him to order our lives,
ignoring His instructions,
relying on our own wisdom rather than His.
Pushing, striving, ignoring wisdom, neglecting common sense, rejecting the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
If you are one of these –
Repent, receive forgiveness, take a nap.
But some of us aren’t well-rested because of the sinful choices of those around us.
I know that sounds harsh
but what would you call it?
There are people caring for infants or aging parents or special needs children or chronically ill spouses who don’t have the help that people in the Christian community should never lack.
There are spouses working hard to keep bread on the table but some are working extra jobs to pay for frills demanded by ever-needy spouses and children.
There are ministry staff over-working, neglecting rest, because the people they serve keep pressuring them for more.
There are some who sacrifice rest to avoid the harsh criticism and false guilt pressed in their palms by thoughtless others who hold up perfection and over-achievement as the marks of a believer who “really” loves God.
We spend so much time trying to force people to wake up spiritually and that’s good
but maybe people need to get a good sleep
in order to wake up.
It’s no coincidence that zombies are so popular these days.
Again, I think it’s an attempt by Jesus to help us see ourselves as we’ve become
under the yoke of slavery to sin.
Part of trusting Jesus is accepting our design, embracing our own humanity, knowing that we are limited and that sleep is gift from God – a time during which He works as we rest.
Think about it. Sleep deprivation causes all manner of griefs. Inability to cope with stress, mood swings, poor decision-making, multiple medical problems, diminished motor skills, relationship problems, increased appetite, vision problems, and inability to concentrate.
The sleep deprived have an increased risk of stroke, diabetes, obesity, bone damage, memory loss, cancer, cardiac problems, psychiatric problems, and car accidents.
Kind of makes you think God was right about our design.
” is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil;  for he gives to his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127: 2
Are you looking for a ministry?
Scout out the weary looking people in your church and help them get some sleep. Young mothers, caregivers of the elderly or chronically ill – can you help them for a spell so they can rest?
Invite friends or ministry staff over for a lazy afternoon of corporate napping – set up hammocks and easy chairs in the yard and encourage a rest.
Be on the lookout for brothers and sisters who need sleep and help them get it. Redefine the “S” on Superman’s cape to mean SLEEP.
Sleep is an act of faith – especially in an age ruled by a slave-driving tyrant.
Sleep should be a daily holy discipline – a counter-cultural act of revolution – a form of resistance.
Want to awaken someone spiritually? Maybe the best way to make that happen is to let them take a nap.


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4 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. tina hunt says:

    The worst, absolutely awful, time in my life and all of the consequences that resulted from the poor choices made, was due to sleep deprivation.

    Trying to keep up with that task master has left us fat and lazy and suffering from sleep apnea. A whole industry surrounding medically restoring our sleep, along with a plethora of specialized mattresses have sprung up.

    When my children were little they fought taking naps and I wished someone would let me take a nap. Now I take them when I can and I don’t feel guilty for it at all!

    Yes, I vote yes for better and more sleep. I’m a better me when I’m well rested.

  2. Wonderful post, Lori. I cared for my bedridden mother in our home and it was one of the most difficult and yet lovely experiences of my life. I was fortunate to be able to hire a Christian friend who needed the income to help me a couple of mornings a week with bathing, feeding and entertaining mother so that I could homeschool my children and sometimes even just take a nap. I’ve tried to help my dil in that way with her little ones as well, from time to time – staying at their house while she naps, or encouraging her to take one here. Sometimes I’m upset that God didn’t create me with lots of energy, but the blessing in that is that I never got caught up in the rat race. Naps are a gift I freely receive.

    Have a beautiful Sunday, Lori. God is good!

    (Very clever title, btw! =))

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was one of those New England Yankees who thought if I wasn’t doing at least two things at once, I was wasting time. But forced retirement has become such a blessing. I can volunteer one day a week at Community Action and feel I’ve contributed something to this world. Then I can spend lots of time in prayer, in preparation for Sunday school teaching, in having a clean house and decent suppers without worrying about what else I have to do. Just having time to send a note to a sick friend brought such appreciation from the friend I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before. Too busy being busy! You’ve nailed another one, girl. Love, Momma

  4. Jon Swedberg says:

    Happy to say that I am well-rested and get plenty of restorative sleep! There have been plenty of times when this was not the case – back when I was “workin’ like the Devil for my Lord”! Grateful for the wisdom that comes with age and the peace that comes through growing faith in an all-sufficient God!