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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Renewing Sleep

He grants sleep to those he loves” (Psalm 127:2b, NIV).

In the night time hours, my child, I watch you sleep. I am with you. Your mind is finally at peace from the struggle of your conscious moments. It has given up its fight to remember and process all the events of your day. There is no fear or worry or terror of the things you have finally allowed me to take from you. Some nights your sleep is troubled, and you can't release your worries to me completely. You toss and turn, and even have dreams that consume your heart and mind. But tonight you found peace in letting go of any attempt to analyze and control. You finally gave me all your worries and concerns, and allowed me to handle what you were never created to handle. You finally released all the struggle to figure out the seasons of your life, and allowed my peace to claim your heart. You no longer had to worry or be fearful. You received my perfect love which cast out all your fear (1 John 4:18). When you finally closed your eyes in sleep, my peaceful presence guarded you.

Waking or sleeping, I watch over you to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11), but you do not know it or reap the peaceful reward of my control until you surrender. I grant sleep to those I love–not a fretful and anguished sleep, but sleep that refreshes and renews for the next day's struggles, events, and even joys (Psalm 127:2). In your conscious moments, keep giving me your fears. Keep giving me your worries. Keep releasing all that consumes your mind and heart. I will take over. You may not realize it at first, but keep choosing to release all to me, and my peace will eventually claim all of your mind (Philippians 4:6-7). When you fall asleep at night, your sleep will be one of release and refreshing in me.

Let me–not any worry–be your last thought before sleeping. Keep your mind focused upon me as you close your eyes to rest (Isaiah 26:3). Give me your tired life. Give me your worries and your analyzing mind, and I will grant you the rest and peace that you need. Surrender control. I am your life, and I have designed your life for my best. Allow me to have all of you so you can receive all of me (Philippians 4:6-7).

Praise me. I am faithful. I will not leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:15). I am with you. Be not afraid. I have overcome your world (John 16:33). I am your world. When you lay down all your struggles of the day, I am your sleep and your renewing peace. You have me. Sleep, my child, in the peace, that I have prepared for you, and awake tomorrow with my joy to live your day. When you are surrendered and at rest, I will impart my promises to you–just as I imparted promises to Jacob at Bethel. And you, like Jacob, will awake and proclaim, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn't even aware of it” (Genesis 28:16b, NLT). Renewing sleep is my gift, and in that rest you will receive something just as wonderful as Jacob received at Bethel. It is my never-ending promise that whispers through the memories of blessed rest, “I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15a, NLT). Awake refreshed to know that each day is the first day of the rest of your life, and you can do all things with the strength I bestow (Philippians 4:13).

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