ODJ: sweet sleep

November 17, 2015 

READ: Psalm 127:1-5 

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night . . . for God gives rest to his loved ones (v.2).

Recent research concluded that Americans are among the world’s worst when it comes to sleep deprivation. The published statistics reveal that America (along with France and Taiwan) ranks among the top three most sleep-deprived nations in the world. Indians (54 percent), Americans (49 percent) and Singaporeans (43 percent) reported not getting enough rest due to being too worried or stressed out. Most sleep-deprived Americans (66 percent), however, can’t sleep because they’re anxious about finances and paying their bills.

There are many reasons sleeplessness occurs, but I wonder if there’s a connection between excluding God from our lives and the onset of anxiety and the lack of rest. The writer of Psalm 127 seems to think so. The song addresses three areas of human activity that can be connected to anxiety—building houses, watching cities and working long hours to provide for family (vv.1-2). The author affirms that it’s foolish and frustrating to attempt to do any of these things without the Lord and His blessing, for “God gives rest to his loved ones” (v.2).

All builders who build homes, watchmen who guard cities and people who work long hours to provide for their families, independent of God, will find anxiety and restlessness. But God gives His people rest as they trust in Him and include Him in all their plans.

—Marvin Williams

365-day-plan: Acts 27:27-44

Read Psalm 121:3-4 and discover one reason God alone can help us rest well. 
What human activity are you doing that is independent of God? What can you do this week to show that you’re truly resting in Him?