19th August 2020

God Gives to His Beloved Sleep 

If you work all day for food, from early morning to late at night, you will get nothing.  It is God who gives sleep.  He gives it to the people he loves.”
Psalm 127:2 (Easy English Translation)

Many years ago, I rented a property in the Dutch countryside.  At the time I had a fulfilling and enjoyable job that nevertheless entailed me working 12-14 hour days and so I sought out what I expected to be a quiet rural retreat to rest at night.  Ecclesiastes 5:12 implied I should expect a good night’s sleep!

However, the landlord concealed the fact that the accommodation next door was rented out continuously for parties and events, meaning my bed would regularly shake in time to the music, whilst drunken partygoers found their way into my garden.  Incidentally I learned not to leave my washing out at night! One night I reached a point of such sleep deprivation that I knocked on the door of the landlord at 2am in the morning and tearfully shouted at them for lying to me about the rental!  I had clearly reached my melting point.

Studies designate noise a health hazard, for example maybe you’re trying to fall asleep, thinking you’ve tuned out the traffic noises—“but your body has not: Your adrenal glands are pumping stress hormones, your blood pressure and heart rate are rising, your digestion is slowing down. Your brain continues to process sounds while you snooze, and your blood pressure spikes in response to clatter as low as 33 decibels—slightly louder than a purring cat.”  People are documented to have reached such serious points of sleep deprivation that they have shot their neighbours or become suicidal! Sleepless nights are known to increase the incidence of major diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia and depression, and makes us more aggressive!

Of course, noise pollution is not the only cause for lack of sleep, but whatever the cause, the outcomes are still the same, which is a compromised immune system leading to a variety of diseases, and mental health problems.  The cause?  Toxins such as beta-amyloid and tau are not removed overnight from your brain.

The title scripture is a simplified translation from Psalm 127:2, said to be penned by Solomon.  He highlights that everything good comes from God, a theme echoed throughout the Bible (James 1:17), and which includes true rest (Matthew 11:28).

Prayer
Lord God, thank you for the gift of sleep.  We pray you will give each of us the sleep and rest we need to be instruments in your hands.
Amen
 

Study by Irene Tibbenham

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About the Author:
Irene Tibbenham is a Deaconess and serves on the Pastoral Council in the Norwich Congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
GCI Norwich
New Hope Christian Centre
Martineau Lane
NORWICH
NR1 2HX

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508 498165
Mobile: 07931 580409
Email:  tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk

norwich@gracecom.church

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