Sleepy Dependent People


I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. (Psalm 3:5)

Because God knows that we’re both forgetful and self-sufficient, he’s kindly woven many reminders into each day that we are dependent on him. Sleep is a beautiful example of this.

On average we need somewhere between six and eight hours of sleep every night. Things begin to unravel when we don’t get those precious hours. I remember being at a conference with a friend who had only gotten two hours of sleep the previous night. He informed me that during the morning session he actually lost the ability to focus his eyes on the speaker. Without sleep our bodies fall apart.

Our daily need for sleep is a daily reminder that we need God. Sleep is a divine Post-It note with the following words written in bold, capital letters: YOU ARE NOT GOD. Only God doesn’t slumber or sleep, and he’s the one who keeps life flowing through our bodies while we sleep. Sleep is a wonderful reminder that we’re weak, frail little creatures who turn into babbling idiots when deprived of sleep.

Every night before bed we have the God-given opportunity grow in humility by expressing our dependence and need for God. Let’s not let that opportunity slip by. Instead of drifting into dreamworld without a second thought, let’s seize the moment to express our desperate need for God. Let’s ask him to keep us breathing through the night, ask him for the gift of sleep, and praise him as the only one who doesn’t need sleep.

In doing these things sleep will become more than closing the eyes. It will be a means of glorifying God by humbling ourselves before him.

NOTE: Most of my thoughts on this have been shaped by C.J. Mahaney’s outstanding message A Biblical Understanding of Sleep.


  • “Instead of drifting into dreamworld without a second thought, let?s seize the moment to express our desperate need for God.”

    What a great reminder and incredible thought. I so easily forget that my life is dependent on the Holy One. I forget that sleep is an act of humility and that I’m totally dependent on my Creator for the ability to wake up the next morning.

  • Stephen Altrogge says:

    Yeller – I agree, it’s so easy to miss God in the mundane moments of life. It seems though that much of sanctification takes place in those moments.

  • Boaly says:

    C.J.’s message on sleep is class!

    I remember being part of the leadership of a conference wknd, but all the leadership stayed up too late on the Fri night as it was the first we’d all managed to get together for a while. Worship leaders & Speakers etc all craicing away to the early hours – the next day was pretty lame – we had to repent greatly after making such a mess up!

    Sleep is needed!

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