Rest and Sleep Problems Abound
If you start to google the phrase “Why am I” in the search bar, it will fill in the rest of the phrase with, “Why am I so tired?” People want to know why they are always so exhauasted It has become a huge problem in Canada. Sleep problems abound. Our minds race so we can’t sleep. We try to accomplish too much. We waste too much time. It has become epidemic.
It became a concern in my life, so much so that I went to a sleep clinic After consultation with the doctor it was discovered that I have a dual diagnosis of sleep problems: sleep apnea and idiopathic hypersomnia. The sleep apnea is dealt with by the use of a Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machine, which is a mask which worn while you sleep. The machine effectively deals with this problem. Idiopathic hypersomnia is a big word which describes an unexplained condition where you can fall asleep very easily. Those who can’t fall asleep easily, often envy this condition. They say they dream of having that problem The issue is that it can be very dangerous because you can fall asleep at inappropriate times, like driving or in meetings. Doctor’s try to treat this condition through medication, but it is a balancing act of managing side effects and benefits.
Sleepless nights are becoming the norm.
Good decisions … will generally reap positive results.
All these treatments endeavour to try to keep me from being exhausted. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth the effort. On a few occasions I have stopped my treatments out of frustration, only to discover that it is worth the inconvenience. I am a wreck without them. Good decisions in this area will generally reap positive results.
The Bible teaches on rest quite extensively. The concept first appears in the creation story, where God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. Exodus 20 reiterates the importance of rest in the ten commandments. The fourth commandment states:
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. Exodus 20: 8-11 (NLT)
The writer of Hebrews reminds us that God is still offering and calling us to rest. “God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it
” Hebrews 4:1.
The author is concerned that although this rest is being offered, people have the choice to reject it. People can choose to enter it by entering into a relationship with Christ. It is a rest from the endeavouring to gain a relationship with God through our own merit and works. It is a place of renewal that happens when we cast all our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7
) and give him our burdens (Matthew 11:28-30
). The Bible encourages us to enter into His promised rest.
It’s an interesting concept that rest takes effort.
But the Bible also encourages us to not only enter His rest, it encourages us to practice rest. We must learn to practice Sabbath. To slow down and be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10) The writer of Hebrews, later in the same chapter,tells us that entering into God’s rest will take some effort. “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest…” Hebrews 4:11. It’s an interesting concept that rest takes effort. In many regards this exercise comes down to making wise choices in regards to rest. There are two questions that we have to ask ourselves if we want to have time focused on worship and rest.
Question #1: What do you need to stop doing?
- Employment based work at hom
- Household chores
- Electronics (phone, tv, computer)
Question #2:What do you need to start doing?
- Listening to worship
- Having a nap
- Reading the Bible
- Enjoying nature
Prayerfully ask yourself those two questions and begin to try and establish Sabbath in your life. Choosing God’s place of rest is not an easy choice and it will take some effort on our part. But missing it is far worse.