PERHAPS we have all had anxious, sleepless nights. Do we have to endure stoically their debilitating, sometimes devastating, effects? Or is there a way to end weary nights? The Psalmist's words give us hope that there is a solution. He sang, ``My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.''1 Here is the hope of ending the anxieties that lead to sleepless nights: waiting on the Lord.
Waiting on the Lord, understanding God, has a quieting, restful, healing effect even when our usual sleep eludes us. He who waited upon the Lord more than all others, Christ Jesus, could sleep during a storm at sea -- and wake to still the storm and the fears of his followers. Or he could stay awake all night in prayer and go out in the morning fully rested to help and heal others without fatigue. He said to all, ``Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.''2
Awakening to Christ shows us the loving nature of God, caring for His spiritual creation, man, under all conditions. When we let Christ into our hearts and lives, the disturbing mistakes of dishonesty, impurity, selfishness, fear, resentment, hate, are replaced with the harmony of integrity, purity, love. And as we learn more of God, divine Truth, this understanding rests us and restores our peace.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, assures us, ``The consciousness of Truth rests us more than hours of repose in unconsciousness.''3 Such ``consciousness of Truth'' enables us to trust God, divine Love, to care for us. And, confidently trusting in His care, we can be peaceful night or day. The restful Mind, God, is never overtaxed or weary, never confused or anxious over family or work. Resting in Truth, refreshed by Love, we experience the Biblical portrayal of serene nights in our own lives: ``When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.''4
When I can't sleep because of troubled thoughts, I turn to God in prayer to erase the confusion. Instead of tossing and turning and trying fruitlessly to get some sleep, I get up out of bed and prayerfully turn to the Bible and Science and Health to hear God's message of peace and comfort. Invariably when I am fully awake to Christ (the truth of what God wants me to know to be harmonious), I get the rest needed. I am refreshed to meet the challenges of the day with alertness and joy -- no matter how many hours of sleep I had, or didn't have.
The more I strive to listen to God and do His loving will through the day, the more restful my days and the less restless my nights. And the more I turn to God last before sleeping and first on awakening, the less I am disturbed at night. Instead of fearing the night, then, I strive to enjoy the quietness and beauty that draw me closer to the goodness of God. Christly thought frees me from mental and physical distress and allows me to sleep normally. Then I can better fulfill my Christian charge each day to love God and serve mankind.
Since God is impartial and universal in His love for each of His children, each of us can freely awake to Christ and sleep well in God's eternal, loving embrace.
1Psalms 130:6. 2Matthew 11:28. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 218. 4Proverbs 3:24.