7 “I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. 8 I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.” Psalm 16:7-9 NKJV
Every one of us has had those nights when you cannot sleep because of the thoughts and fears that run through your imagination. You know what it feels like. You wake up in the middle of the night and your mind starts to go places you do not desire to go. You begin to give thoughts to problems you are faced with during the day, and once your mind has engaged those thoughts, all hope of sleep and rest that night are gone.
What do you do on those occasions? Do you lay there hoping that sleep comes, even though the hours are passing by? Do you find yourself looking at the clock and thinking to yourself, “If I go to sleep now, I can still get four hours sleep!” Then a half hour passes, you look at your clock and say to yourself, “If I fall asleep right now, I can still get three and half hours sleep!” And so it goes through the night hours. I am sure you can relate.
Here is what I have found is the best response to such a night. I assume that as long as I am awake, the Lord will talk with me and give me His wisdom and direction. I spend the time seeking Him and listen for His voice to provide me with His counsel. It turns out that this is an excellent time to give Him your attention. You are free from distractions and can listen and hear from Him. I have received so much instruction from Him during the night hours.
If you just lay there, you get frustrated and weary. However, when you give time to Him, you get His counsel, encouragement, and direction. You also get something that is often elusive during the daylight hours when you are run down by the events of the day, fortitude! I have lain in bed and just been with Him, and felt the surge of hope and strength that has allowed me to get up in the morning with a new determination so that I can say, “I will not be moved from His Word and promises! I will not be moved!”
During those night seasons that start off with discontentedness and weariness from lack of sleep, you can find strength, hope, determination and a heart of gratitude that is rejoicing in Him. What a sweet turn of events that is. And then comes the final shocker. On those troubled sleepless nights that I turn to Him, I may not have the amount of sleep that I desire, but rather than facing a day of sluggishness, I find my flesh is rested and I am strong through the day.
Tonight, if you can’t sleep you have a choice. You can either lay there growing restless and frustrated, or you can fellowship with Him and find counsel and refreshment in time with Him.
J Todd Hostetler