“Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” (Isaiah 49:13)
Picture this: you are trying to get to sleep but your mind is racing with things that have been left undone or your job is causing you to work too many hours -- perhaps you have been trying for months to find a new job. Maybe one of your children is sick or you’re struggling with health issues or you don’t know how you’ll make the next mortgage payment. It really doesn’t matter what the reason; your mind just does not want to calm down so you can get some much-needed sleep.
I struggle with this a lot and I want to share with you what usually works for me. First I ask God to clear my mind of every thought except those of Him. Then I picture my Abba Father sitting in a big old rocking chair. I watch myself climb into His lap and He surrounds me with His strong yet gentle arms of comfort. I lay my head against His chest as He strokes my hair as I let go of every thought that plagues me and completely relax as He slowly rocks me to sleep...
This is the picture in my mind as I finally fall asleep, and it is so vivid to me that I long to visualize it every single night.
Did your parents ever read to you at bedtime? Do you remember how wonderfully comforting and loving that felt and how it caused you to relax to the point of falling asleep before the story ended?
It is no secret that life today is very complicated. We run from one errand to the next, pick up fast food for dinner way too often, and rarely give ourselves time for rest. We go from work to dinner to helping the children with their homework to catching up on laundry and housecleaning and then stagger to bed much later than we should. It doesn’t help that the economy is in chaos and job loss is rampant. Home foreclosures and bankruptcy claims are the norm these days, and as for health insurance, if you have any coverage at all, premiums are skyrocketing along with deductibles.
So tonight, in the stillness of your bedtime hour, calm your heart and still your mind as you picture your Heavenly Father pulling you close in a never-ending embrace. Imagine the soothing feeling of supreme rest and relaxation as your eyes close and you trust God to lull you softly to sleep.
Beloved, Jesus never said life would be easy but He is always besides us to help cope with life’s pressures. First and foremost, dive into that Bible that is gathering dust on your nightstand. Start with Psalms and read one chapter each night before bed -- that’s it, only one chapter! It won’t take you but maybe 10-15 minutes and you’ll notice that digging into the Word even for that short amount of time has already started your relaxation process. Then lay your weary head against your pillow and envision your Heavenly Father gathering you close into His loving embrace, rocking you slowly to sleep.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
“Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psalm 119:49-50)
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
"If you love me you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Comforter to be with you forever - the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you." (John 14:15-17)
Yours in Christ
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