Have you ever stayed awake all night, fretting about something? Maybe it was job or family related. Maybe it was a health issue or the fact that your team didn’t make the Super Bowl.
What’s causes you to lose sleep?
I’ll admit, I’ve had many a sleepless nights, worried about issues that seemed so important to me, like a child’s health. Some were less important– “Did I buy enough burger for the cookout?” or “Where did that spider go that was just walking across my ceiling?”
The apostle Peter puts me to shame.
Acts 12:5-7 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him,. . . and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands.
Herod was persecuting the church. Peter was chained between two guards. The next day he was going to be killed. Herod had already killed James. Why in the world would he spare Peter? So how does he spend that last night? Is he fretting? Planning his escape? Wondering if he did something wrong?
No. He was sleeping!
Aa a matter of fact, he was sleeping so soundly that the angel who came to rescue him, had to whack Peter on the side of the head to wake him up.
How in the world could He sleep at a time like is?
The answer- Peter was totally resting in the Lord; not a physical rest, but a spiritual rest.
Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
To rest in the Lord we must-
–Believe He’s in Control of Everything
You know the old song- He’s got the whole world in His hands, with its countless verses about little tiny babies and the such. I have to add a verse. He’s got the gray bearded, tall and “slightly” heavy, father of six, warped sense of humor, men in their fifties, in His hands.
You get the idea. Make up a verse for yourself. At night when sleeps escaping you, remind yourself- He is there. He’s got His arms wrapped around you.
–Submit to Him.
This isn’t easy. We’d rather do it ourselves. But there are some things we can’t do. All our worry does no good.
Look to God. Say, “Father, I don’t know what the outcome of this situation is. . .I have no control over it. I place my trust, my life, in you.”
Did Peter know that God was going to rescue Him? I don’t think so. He simply trusted that no matter what happened, God was in control.
Next time you start tossing and turning, remember the example of Peter–facing death and yet able to sleep. Believe in the Lord. Rest in Him.