Sleeplessness is a restless spirit

Published 8:26 am Wednesday, September 7, 2022

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Sleeping is a difficult thing for me every night mainly because I cannot turn my mind off. Is there a spiritual reason for this or can it be a mental or physical explanation? — S.N.

Dear S.N.: Often sleeplessness is a restless spirit and not a chemical imbalance that keeps us from what our bodies and minds need. Many people have trouble falling asleep at night. Some take over-the-counter drugs or sleeping pills; others require prescription medication to sleep. But it’s good to remember that the Bible instructs us to lay down in sleep and dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8). One of the best ways we can help ourselves at the close of day is to direct our thoughts toward God, who gives rest in our weariness.
The psalms are perhaps the most soothing place in Scripture for one to turn to shut out the stresses and troubles of the day. Some of the psalms have been set to music and listening to them can help soothe the cares of the world. King David, who wrote many of the psalms, soothed the mind and heart of the king, and no doubt his own troubled soul.
God knows that we need sleep in order to work effectively while we’re awake, and He desires that we rest in Him. So when sleep is difficult, there is no better place to turn than to read from the book of Psalms. There’s joy in its message and peace in its instruction. We can pray and ask God to give body, mind, and soul restoration. He gives us quiet confidence to live by and rest in. “I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One” (Psalm 132:4-5). When we are resting in Him, we can be certain that He is near.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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