The strange blessing of sleepless nights

Feet in bed

I’ve not been sleeping well lately. Saturday and Sunday nights were rough, with a grand total of 8 hours of sleep over two nights. I went to bed at a reasonable time, but couldn’t sleep. My mind was racing as I dealt with two separate anxiety attacks.[1. These are the result of being under constant and extreme stress for more than two years due to everything involved with immigration.] I couldn’t will myself to sleep, so I did the only thing that made sense: I read my Bible and prayed.

This wasn’t the kind of prayer that was immediately answered. It wasn’t the kind of reading that was searching for a verse to answer my fears. It was just a desire to fill my mind with God’s word, even as I expressed my fears to God.

I’ve not felt like my life was in my own control for a long time, which isn’t really different than the reality: it’s always been under God’s control, but there has always been a sense of comfort, of familiarity that didn’t make anything unexpected seem so bad. Now, they feel a lot worse. The comfort and familiarity isn’t there. There’s no safety net, nor a safety blanket.

Admitting these things as I prayed I would be able to sleep, strangely, helped. The fears were still there. But the burden lessened because I knew (and know) that I’m not the one carrying all this. The things I’m afraid of are outside my control for the most part. But they’re never outside of God’s.

This seems like a strange thing to be writing about because there’s no resolve. There’s no lesson to be learned that I can discern for the moment. Only the reassurance that God is in control. He’s never not in control. He will continue to be in control long after I find new things to make me fearful.

That’s the strange blessing of a few sleepless nights. For me, at least.

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books for adults and children, as well as multiple documentaries and Bible studies. His latest book, I'm a Christian—Now What?: A Guide to Your New Life with Christ is available now.