Trusting and Resting
Are you sleeping well? Joshua Lowe reminds us that God is in control and we can cast all our anxieties upon Him and rest fully in Him.
I had a friend in university who owned a funny shirt, which he wore around campus every now and then. On his shirt was written a Bible verse—Mark 4:38—and in big letters the phrase: “Jesus took naps, be like Jesus.”
Although quite humorous, I like to think that his shirt has some truth in it. Physical rest and sleep is important. Jesus (although 100% divine) was 100% human and He needed to sleep. These days especially in Singapore, the answer to “How are you?” often seems to be “I’m tired.” Good restful sleep seems hard to come by and I wonder why.
Recently I was feeling a bit worn out, so last week I decided to take a few days off just to rest. I had planned to rest by spending my day reflecting on God’s Word and in prayer. On one of my days off however, after waking up and spending some time reading my Bible and praying, I decided to take a quick nap… that unexpectedly lasted 6 hours.
It occurred to me then how much I struggled to trust God and how anxious I had been about many things, both consciously and subconsciously. The reason I crashed was because the limited sleep I was getting was not restful sleep. Besides not sleeping enough, I had been going to bed anxious, restless or overthinking events that had happened throughout the day. There were always things to worry about such as work, ministry, family, health, marriage, parenting, money etc., the list goes on and on. The heart behind why I wasn’t resting and sleeping well was because I had not been trusting God with all these things. In my heart I was thinking that I can be in control, wondering why I’m not and plotting to regain that control that I seemingly have.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
It is not explicitly stated in Mark’s account of Jesus calming the storm, but I think the reason Jesus could sleep so soundly when chaos was surrounding Him was primarily because He had complete trust that His Father was sovereign and in control. He knows His Father was looking after Him and His disciples. God created us humans as finite beings, we cannot do everything all the time, try as we might! It reminds us that for the many things we cannot do or control, we need to turn to God.
How has your sleep been in the past week? Has it been enough? Has it been restful? What are some things you have been losing sleep over?
Perhaps the reason why we never seem to get enough rest is because we aren’t trusting God. We try to do the many things that we think only we can do, pushing the boundaries of our energy more and more. Even when we do go to bed, our minds still stay on the could-haves, should-haves and what will be. The same goes for our youth and children; there is always more to study and exams to worry about. More than the question of where will I find time to rest, the questions we should ask should really be: Why am I not able to rest? What are our hearts behind our striving? What are we unable to trust God with?
I write these things to myself also, because I too struggle with trusting God. If I'm honest, my answers to all these questions aren’t the best. I also need to be reminded that having restful sleep comes from trusting in God, knowing that He has things under control and so I don’t have to. Well, neither can I be in control and that is okay.
I pray that we will all have restful sleep knowing that we can trust God with whatever we are doing or may be anxious about. I also pray that our youth and children will similarly trust God in the midst of their studies and exams, along with the other important issues they face, because the Lord is our good shepherd.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
With the latest COVID-19 concerns raised by the Government, the Elders urge the church to come together to pray to our Sovereign God and intercede for the public health and safety of this nation. We invite all GBC members for a time of corporate prayer for Singapore on 12 Sep (Sun), 3–4pm over Zoom.
For more details, you can find the full update on GBC's response to COVID-19 measures here.