Last night was the first night we spent in our new home after nearly six weeks of laborious renovation. Exhausted from the physical, mental, and emotional strain of it all, I took one last look at our new bedding, climbed under the sheets, and expected to fall asleep within a couple minutes.
But I couldn’t sleep. Maybe it was the unfamiliarity of a new place or the excitement of finally moving in, but my mind raced for most of the night. In my inability to rest, my thoughts wandered to an article written by John Piper many years ago in which he wrote, “Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God.”
For people, sleep is a necessity. Our ability to function without it is limited. It’s also a commonality, a shared part of the human experience. But God is altogether different. Psalm 121:3-4 says, “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
God is God. He doesn’t need to be tucked in every night to get eight hours of shuteye. After creating the universe ex nihilo, He rested, not because He needed a break, but to set a precedent for mankind (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:8-11). The same universe He spoke into existence He also upholds by the word of His power 24/7 – and it’s not taking a toll on Him (Hebrews 1:3).
John Piper is correct. My need of sleep is a perpetual reminder that I’m not God. Each night, the illusion of control fades into oblivion as the world keeps on spinning while I’m lost in my own inexplicable dreams. In a simultaneous show of His power and protection, God watches over me as I do nightly what He does never.
From sunup to sundown, and every second in between, the Maker of the universe keeps you. And whether you’re out cold or tossing and turning, take heart. He will be up all night.