In the past, I occasionally struggled with unrest when things didn’t go the way I hoped for or even planned. Sometimes the changes I would like to see happen would be in another person’s life. Sometimes a work situation was difficult or sometimes a certain character flaw of mine needed to change. As a result, I would awake at two or three in the morning and start thinking about that which was annoying me and it usually robbed me of any more restful sleep. It was not only personally frustrating, but was also having a negative impact on those close to me. Thankfully, over recent years, this has taken a turn for the better.
One of the things that helped me was to stop thinking I had to fix everything, as though I was everyone’s ‘saviour’ but to hand things over to ‘Someone’ who can bring about the change if required. The beauty of giving it to ‘Someone’ else to deal with was that if things didn’t change the way I liked to see it change, I was at rest, for this ‘Someone’ was much wiser than me and I realised that perhaps the change I thought was vital, wasn’t so important after all.
Now you may be thinking, “I would love to have ‘Someone’ in my life that would do that for me. Life would be so much “less stressful”. Well the good news is that you don’t have to go to heaven to find such a person, nor do you have to travel over land and sea. That person is beside you, more than that, He is within you. No, I am not speaking about some new mystical self that you have to find deep within yourself through some form of meditation or self mutilation. Rather, I am speaking about knowing God’s Word and Spirit.
To know what God’s Word says about the One whose promises are “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ is extremely beneficial. To know the Someone who has promised never to leave us and now dwells within us by His Holy Spirit (Mat 28:18ff), quiets my sometimes restless spirit. To know that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express is a great source of blessing (Romans 8:26-27). To know that we are God’s children in Christ and that nothing can separate us from His love is reason for thankful living (Rom 8:39). To know that we can never fall out of His everlasting arms gives great comfort to my soul during times of trial and hardship (John 10:28-30).
To know that Jesus calls on people who are heavy laden to come to Him, and He will give them rest, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light is so refreshing (Mat 11:28ff). To know that the Apostle Peter, after speaking to the elders of the church, encourages the young men to cast their cares on God, reminding them that He cares for them (1 Peter 5:7). To know that the Apostle Paul on several occasions encourages us to make our requests with thanksgiving known to our Lord (Phil 4:6-7; Col 4:2; 1 Thess 5:16-17). To know that the writer to Hebrews says we can enter the throne room of grace with confidence for we have a great high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses is so encouraging (Heb 4:15-16). To know that our Father in heaven longs to answer the prayers of his children quickly is reason for confidence in prayer (Luke 18:8).
The Psalmist writes that even if his enemies were lined up against him, or if he was travelling through the valley of the shadow of death, his Lord was with him and there by his right hand to protect him (Psalm 3; 6; 9; 18; 23 and many more).
Do you have trouble sleeping? Perhaps it’s time to consider letting it go and giving it to the “Someone” who can take care of it and will make the right decisions in every case. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our best or just sit passively by. But it does mean that “Someone” is working alongside of us and He is able to deal with all obstacles. And while this “Someone” who is working on our behalf never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121), we can rest and have peace knowing that all our concerns and cares are in the very best of hands, whether we sleep and or whether we wake. JZ
Pastor John Zuidema
Since 1997 Pastor John has been ministering to Churches across Australia and New Zealand.