The following is taken from portions of Tessa Thompson’s blog post Go to Bed for the Glory of God. It is an excellent read!
Sometimes, one of the hardest decisions of the day is when to end it.
Has it ever occurred to you that going to bed can glorify God? He created us to need sleep and He graciously gives it. Therefore, we can please Him by acknowledging this need and accepting the gift with gratitude.
1. Sleep acknowledges my limitations.
I may stay in bed because I am lazy, but I go to bed because I am limited—a fallen, finite creature with a body and mind that must rest in order to thrive. I love this quote by John Piper in his devotional, Taste and See:
Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God. “He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4). But we will. For we are not God. Once a day God sends us to bed like patients with a sickness. The sickness is a chronic tendency to think we are in control and that our work is indispensable (pg. 336).
2. Sleep prepares me for tomorrow.
. . . Getting a good night’s sleep is a way I can prepare my body, mind, heart, and soul for the work God has given me to do the following day. My body and mind are reenergized by the sleep, and my heart and soul are alert and ready to wake up early to spend time with the Lord.
3. Sleep helps me to redeem the time.
God commands us in Ephesians 5:15–16: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
Modern technology has opened up a world of endless entertainment and information to us, making it very easy for us to waste time on things that do not line up with our priorities or help and edify our souls. A simple search on Google can turn into an hour of unproductive browsing. Our desire for some relaxation can turn into two hours of mindlessly sitting in front of the television watching reruns. Sometimes the best way to make the greatest use of the time is to shut the computer, turn off the TV, silence the phone, and go to bed . . .
Of course, just as with any other earthly gift, sleep can be abused and distorted. The Bible clearly commands us to not be lazy, selfish, or spiritually sluggish, as does it exhort us to manage our time well (Eph. 5:16) and work with cheerful diligence (Prov. 31:11–15). And there are times when we glorify God by denying ourselves sleep in order to serve others or seek the Lord in prayer during a time of spiritual warfare. But just because there is a risk of misusing the gift, does not mean we should despise or avoid it. Rather, we go to God and ask for humility to accept it joyfully and wisdom to use it rightly.
May we learn to lie down and sleep in peace (Ps. 4:8), ever grateful that we serve a sovereign God who does not slumber and yet glorifies Himself when His beloved children do.
What prompted you to take sleep seriously? What helps you get a good night’s sleep?
Read more by Tessa Thompson here.