I have begun to use periods of wakefulness at night, which used to cause me great distress, as times to ponder ideas. I go to the Bible or to Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesm by Mary Baker Eddy n1 and seek out fresh insights and glimpses of spirital reality. I may get a sense of God's great and gentle love for all His children, His spiritual offspring. I may be reminded that there cannot be an inkling or possibility of strain, fretful worry, or disorder to disturb the divine universe. Such realizations bring an inner tranquility, for they make it apparent that matter and the conditions attached to it have nothing to do with spiritual reality and cannot interfere with it. After pondering along these lines, I usually return to bed and fall asleep quite naturally.
n1 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
Recently I had occasion to search for the inspired comfort that is to be found in the psalms, and I found what I was looking for. I had retired that night with a severe headache. Sleep was impossible, and I could not think clearly. After tossing about for several hours I got up and opened the Bible, turning to Psalm 23. This tender song of affirmation and confidence reached out to give what was needed -- a peaceful sense of God's great love and presence.
In Science and Healthm Mrs. Eddy shows how, by substituting the synonym "Love" for God, an even more spiritual sense of this psalm may be gained. As I repeated the words "[Love] maketh me to lie down in green pastures," n2 I became aware of the imperative presence that obliterates all pain, anxiety, disturbance. Love, God, cares for each child wholly and with power.
n2 Science and Heatlh,m p. 578;
As I continued to study the psalm I became aware that rest doesn't necessarily mean going to sleep. In fact, what I needed at that moment was to become more alert to my spiritual nature and identity, to assert my dominion over the apparent claim that matter could interfere with spiritual awareness. It became more and more easy to think clearly and concisely along these lines. I prayed for another hour or so and then fell asleep naturally. At the normal time I woke, feeling strong. I felt I had glimpsed a further insight into the statement Mrs. Eddy makes elsewhere in Science and Health:m "God rests in action." n3
n3 ibid,m p. 519;
The intense activity of Christ Jesus' ministry was underpinned by hours of exalted prayer and communion with God. At one time, when it might have been considered beneficial for Jesus to get a good night's sleep, instead "he departed into a mountain to pray." n4 Then, after a night of spiritual refreshment, he went to help his disciples, who were struggling against the wind on the lake, and calmed the storm. Once they all reached the shore, he immediately continued with his great healing work.
n4 Mark 6:46.
As confidence in God's control increases, it becomes easier to seize every opportunity to learn about out true spiritual identity. When wakeful nights are used as opportunities they cease to alarm or distress. The search for a clearer understanding of God can bring only peace, dominion, and freedom. DAILY BIBLE VERSE When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Proverbs 3:24