By HEATHER COFER
Being the mother of a little boy who has been notorious for his wakeful nights since he was born, I have learned how to function on less sleep, and have also learned how to take naps! I never used to do this, but it has become very helpful on days when my sleep has been minimal. However, I noticed there was a tendency beginning to develop when I went to lay down after putting Jude down for his nap, I would grab my phone and read emails or browse Facebook rather than using that time to get the refreshment needed to continue to be sharp and ready to care for my son. Sometimes I would waste all but a few minutes on frivolous things, and I was not one ounce more rested than I had been before. I would be frustrated then, discouraged that I had been so foolish as to spend that time on fluff rather than either purposeful projects or purposeful rest. It also came down to a lack of discipline and wisdom on my part, not using my time to the fullest and best for the glory of God. And in those times, I also realized I was not turning my mind and heart to the Lord for refreshment, but to things that don’t and can’t bring the rest I need.
God has given us the gift of rest in the midst of our very busy lives, and one way of being lazy is to not use that time for rest, but on things that will cause more weariness or distract us from living for Christ. It really comes down to disciplining yourself to rest when you it’s time to rest, and work when it’s time to work. Times of playing and fun activities will come, too. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
God is the one who gives rest, and it is our job to use it wisely. Psalm 127:2 says, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
Now, there will be seasons when we find that we are getting less sleep because of various circumstances and setting aside time for a nap just isn’t possible. It’s in these times we realize that, although physical rest is helpful, what is most important is finding rest in our Savior.
Psalm 18:2 says, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Paul says in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Yes, sleep is a good thing, but ultimately, our strength, our rest, our peace, our sustenance comes from the Giver of Life. So whether we are able to take a few minutes during our day to rest or just need to push through, Jesus should always be our first turn. Our minds and hearts should be fixed upon Him, knowing that He will supply us with everything we need. Let us use this time we have been given here on earth for His honor and glory!