Count Blessings, Not Sheep

Recently, a friend posted on her Facebook status that she had been awakened each night for several nights in a row and found herself unable to go back to sleep. Of course, as we do on Facebook, everyone had suggestions for what might help — warm milk, a good book, cleaning, counting sheep, and on and on.

I remembered someone once telling me that if you were awakened in the middle of the night and unable to return to sleep, perhaps God was trying to tell you something. Now, I don't know about you, but I love my sleep and I need it. God knows this about me, right? Why then would he choose to wake me up and speak to me in the middle of night? Simple — it's dark, I'm snuggled in bed, I'm not getting up and going anywhere else, and God knows he has my full, undivided attention. So, just as I suggested to my friend, and just as I do when I can't sleep, lay there in the dark and listen, just listen. Spend some time in prayer and ask God what he wants to tell you.

Still can't sleep? Begin to count your blessings, list them all — the cozy bed you are in, the heat or air conditioning that is keeping you comfortable, the spouse beside you or the children snoring down the hall, the rain on the roof, your salvation, the men and women who work to protect your freedom, and on and on and on. One of two things will happen–you'll fall asleep or you'll enjoy such a sweet time of fellowship with the Lord that you won't miss the shuteye.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philipians 4:6-7, NASB)

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