Grace For Healing
God wants you well
He gives His beloved sleep

Why does the Bible say ‘he (God) gives his beloved sleep’? 

Today we look at what the Bible says about sleep, it’s link to healing, and how God’s Word can help us in this essential part of our lives. 

Whilst most of us know that sleep is good for us, it’s also something that we often think we can short-circuit. 

We get caught up in the latest series on Netflix thinking ‘just one more episode’ or we feel we just can’t help but scroll through social media or watch youtube clips and before we know it, it’s 2am. 

There are times, especially for those with chronic symptoms, where the pain in our body keeps us awake. Or the anxiety in our chest, restlessness and our superactive brains don’t switch off. 

Ps 127:2 says ‘he gives his beloved sleep’. If this is true, then why do so many of us still struggle? 

 

HE GIVES HIS BELOVED SLEEP

 

On one level, there is the biological, literal meaning of this verse. When God knit us in our mother’s womb, he gave us a nervous system. 

Without it, there would be no sleep. 

In an ideal world, we would all be regulated enough to go to bed, close our eyes, and voila – we’re asleep, and then wake up 8 hours or so later. 

I imagine Jesus was very regulated. As a human he needed sleep. He even slept through a storm. 

“And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.” Matt 8:24

The fact we need sleep, shows we are limited and dependent upon God for our basic needs. 

Of course, babies and children, whose nervous system is still developing, need much more than this. 

This is God’s design. 

(Isn’t it interesting that the more evolved the thinking part of our brain is, the more likely we are to lack sleep or struggle in this area. )

On a deeper level, God gives us the gift of sleep. This implies that He know we would need it. 

God knew that our lives would be full of stresses and concerns keeping us awake at night.

No matter what we go through, whether it’s a season of stress, worries about finances or family, or living with an illness that keeps you awake, we can trust that He (God) will give his beloved sleep. 

 

WHY SLEEP IS A GIFT

 

God only gives good gifts to his children. 

When we’re asleep, our body repairs itself. Cells in our body literally renew, the appropriate hormones and proteins are released, our muscles repair, emotions are regulated and so much more. 

One thing I do know, that if you’re on any kind of healing journey, then a good night sleep is essential. 

Without it, you will fall down the nervous system ladder. 

The next day you’ll be irritable, anxious dysregulated, unable to rationally think clearly and so on. Imagine feeling like this perpetually. 

We need sleep to heal. 

I think the reason why God repeats the importance of sleep throughout the Bible, is because it is essential to life, to healing and to everyday functioning. 

Ask anyone who has struggled in this area. sleep is a gift, a luxury.

I’m not going to discuss ‘sleep hygiene’ in this post as I’m going to assume that you already are familiar. But here is a post by Rebekah Ballagh from Journey into Wellness on sleep hygiene.

 

IMAGE CREDIT

Whilst God gives us sleep, we still have to do our part. If you are struggling putting a sleep hygiene practices in place, ask Holy Spirit to help you make the necessary adjustments. 

The reality is that despite our best efforts, some of us still struggle to get a good night’s sleep. 

Ps 127:2 says ‘he gives his beloved sleep’. If this is true, then why do so many of us still struggle

Here are some ideas, they may resonate with you. 

 

1. LIVING IN SURVIVAL

 

When we’re in the stress state, the survival state of the nervous system, we are living in a place of anxiety and fear. I relate to this. 

We lie in our beds but our hearts are racing and that feeling of terror gets stronger. This is not what God wants for us. 

Our body thinks we’re running away from a tiger. Of course our nervous system won’t allow us to sleep. We need to be on high alert. 

 

2. WE ARE TOO HIGHLY WIRED

 

We spend all day on computers, on our smartphones, watching TV, doing work….. Most of us live in our heads all day long. 

I heard one description recently about someone who described himself as a giraffe. His head a million miles away from his body. 

If this sounds like you, know it is common in today’s culture. Think about millions of neurons firing simultaneously. 

We wire our brains without realising. 

It’s like trying to rest and sleep with a disco going on in our heads. This then becomes a pattern that is hard to break. 

When we’re bombarding ourselves in data, our nervous system sense danger. This causes us to ‘fall down our nervous system ladder’ in polyvagal terms. 

Just like anxiety, we end up in the sympathetic part of our nervous system, otherwise known as fight/flight. 

 

3. WE DON’T WANT TO SLEEP

 

There may be an unconscious part of you that is resisting sleep. 

Perhaps in childhood, going to sleep was a bad experience. This may be the case for those who were abused or scared of the dark.

It could even refer to those who were bullied at school. The child lies awake at night because they’re dreading waking up and going to school

You now associate sleep with danger and your nervous system reacts to this implicit memory. 

In our adults lives, do you spend all day and night either being productive or doing things for others?

When it comes the the night-time, it’s the only time when you have ‘me time’ and you don’t want it to end. 

Or, some people have no hope for the future. They dread tomorrow unconsciously because tomorrow is just another mundane laborious day with no good in it. 

 

4. LACK OF ROUTINE

 

This is common for those who may be chronically ill and now are not working. They don’t need to get out of bed first thing in the morning. 

It’s tempting to keep on scrolling, watching Netflix, and then sleep in in the morning. This interferes with our body clock. 

‘Neurons that fire together, wire together’ It becomes habitual. 

Before you know it, going to bed to sleep at 3am is the norm. 

This is not God’s best because whilst he gives his beloved sleep, we’re over-riding it through our learned behaviour and destructive patterns. 

It’s a bit like someone giving you a gift, but you not actually opening it.

 I do recognise though, that some people, like those with ADHD, may have a delayed circadian rhythm (the part of our brain which causes us to sleep in cycles) and so setting a regular healthy sleep pattern is challenging. 

 

5. LACK OF SELF-LOVE

 

This goes hand in hand with the last point. That if we don’t love ourselves, we’re not likely to invest in ourselves 

There is no deep-rooted desire to practice sleep hygiene, no incentive. 

With our conscious minds, we know we need sleep to function and we’ll feel worse without it, yet our unconscious mind drives us. 

When the Bible says ‘He gives his beloved sleep…’, to receive this gift, you need to know you are God’s beloved. 

You need to sense the love of God, not just cognitively, but emotionally and deep down in your spirit. 

Here are some of my top tips on how we can get a good night’s sleep:

he gives his beloved sleep

 

1. WE MUST HAVE FAITH

 

There are numerous verses you can speak aloud or meditate on before sleep. I have a friend who says Ps 4 8 every night

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Ps 4:8

I know someone else who had terrible night terrors, yet when she began listening to Biblical meditations before bed, the nightmares stopped. 

The Bible promises that if we invite God in, we will sleep in peace.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.

PR 3:24

The Bible asks us to ‘meditate on God’s Word night and day’, so there is an expectation to meditate on the Bible at night time. 

If you haven’t done so, can I invite you to incorporate this into your routine. Perhaps you won’t see immediate results, but it takes time to rewire our brains. 

If you’ve been trying to hand over your worries to God but still riddled with anxiety, I hear you and I’ve been there. 

I tend to think that inviting God in, is more realistic for some people. 

Knowing that God is fighting your battles (Ex 14:14), that he is with you and never slumbers or sleeps (Ps 121:1), gives a massive level of comfort. 

Even if it doesn’t feel any different in your nervous system, sometimes we need to believe it before we experience it. This is faith

 

2. CREATE A GOD BOX

 

So I saw on Craig Groeschel’s YouTube channel, where he encourages us to write our worries down and put them in a box. 

Then we place the worry box, in a bigger box with GOD written on it.

This is a simple and powerful visual that shows our nervous systems that God is bigger than our problems and that He is taking care of them. 

 

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

 

3. SOMATIC EXERCISES

 

When we have anxiety, there is a lot of energy in our systems that needs to be dispelled. For me, getting out of bed, stretching, star-jumps, shaking the body or doing some other kind of somatic exercises will help disperse the energy in your body. 

Even it’s the middle of the night. 

Then finish by doing a soothing activity like a body scan, deep breathing with a long exhale or lying with a heavy weight on your chest. 

These soothing exercises allow you to put your attention on your body which calms down the thinking part of your brain and helps you sleep. 

live in your truth

IMAGE: CREDIT

4. USING OUR SENSES

 

I sometimes invite my clients to practise orienting. This is something I do myself throughout the day. 

It really means, scan your environment with intention. What do you see, hear, smell, touch (and taste). 

We look with intention though. Colours, shapes, textures, shadows etc. 

By using your senses you are showing your nervous system that right now, you are safe. There is no tiger. 

 

5. GROW IN SELF-LOVE

 

This takes time. 

I think this starts by knowing how much God loves you. There are numerous verses to support you in this revelation.

Remember that everything in this world, tells you that God doesn’t love you. 

Look to His Word, and to the Cross. 

One activity I do with my clients, is searching for evidence, on a daily basis, to prove to yourself that you are lovable. 

Where have you been kind today? Helpful? Generous? 

It starts in childhood, but we can have a deep-rooted belief that we’re not lovable so we need to rewire this. 

Knowing that God loves you unconditionally and that you are worthy of love, just as you are, helps us in making changes to our lifestyles. 

If you don’t love yourself much, it’s unlikely that you’ll make the necessary changes you need to get a good night’s sleep. 

See WHY FEELING UNWORTHY OF GOD’S LOVE HINDERS HEALING

Also, the Bible tells us that ‘Faith works through love’.

So if we’re meditating on the Word, but we don’t know how much God loves us, then we’re not really appropriating it effectively. 

How is your sleep?

Are there any changes you need to make to your sleep hygiene?

Imagine the difference in your healing journey if you were guaranteed a restful night’s sleep each night. Have you asked God to help?

Can I encourage you to chew on one of the verses pertaining to sleep and invite God in.

I hope this helps you today

Lorna x



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