I’ve been battling with insomnia for the past few months. As I write this blog, I’m on my third day of not sleeping. As you can imagine, this weighs heavy on my faith and certainly affects my mental well-being. We are trying natural remedies as well as pharmaceuticals, but nothing has been very effective.
People tell me to read certain verses, pray specific prayers, listen to meditations, relax with Christian music, rebuke the devil, and on and on. Believe me, I’ve done all of these things, and I still can’t sleep at times.
In the beginning, I felt like a failure. Of all the things people were pushing me to do, I started thinking I wasn’t doing them right and so there was something wrong with my faith. Then I toyed with the idea that God was teaching me a lesson for some grievous sin I committed. I never came up with the sin and God never revealed it to me. I finally felt despair – that maybe God wasn’t listening to or protecting me.
Over the last few days, I realize I have learned some important lessons from this torturous insomnia; and even if I don’t sleep tonight, I am still in awe by how God showed these things to me, and then inspired me to write this blog post.
Lesson 1: During the day, I need to devour scriptures about God’s goodness.
I’ve decided that several times a day I’m going to stop what I’m doing and read Scripture that inspires me; or, I’m going to work on memorizing a Psalm or other verses that I can recite at night. If I spend the day reading news and negativity, then I can be saddled with sadness, anger, or a general heaviness in my heart. Whatever I allow my mind to consume, can affect my sleep.
Romans 8: 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires, but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the spirit is life and peace. Who doesn’t want life and peace? It’s so simple to do the right thing and live by the Spirit. On the other hand, it’s so lazy to do the wrong thing by not reading or praying and living by my flesh. Some days I consciously choose lazy and it definitely affects my spirituality, my faith, my mood, and my sleep. Running on flesh is exhausting.
Lesson 2: While I’m awake at night, I can pray.
Yes – I’m already praying about my sleep, but there are so many issues affecting this world at this time.
Ephesians 6:18 and pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, always be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lords people.
I pray for people that are seeking a relationship with God. I pray for those that are suffering with addiction, depression, broken relationships, and broken hopes and dreams. I pray for those in leadership positions – our government, church leaders, parents, and mentors. I pray for the brothers and sisters in my fellowship and those around the world. I pray that we all stand up for righteousness and help the oppressed and the needy. There is an endless list of prayer needs.
Lesson 3: I need to live as a conqueror, not a quitter.
Romans 8: 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Even though I can’t sleep at night, I still have my aides put me in my wheelchair every day. It’s better for me to be up and mobile than trapped in my bed. Please don’t think I’m a hero. I do this to avoid anxiety attacks and feeling sorry for myself. It’s a terrible thing to be imprisoned in a bed and unable to move. I believe I need to face the day as if I had 10 hours of sleep, keeping busy and not complaining. Not only is this how a conqueror behaves, this is how you flee from the devil.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
I don’t know how long this season will last in my life, but I know trials are often a prerequisite for growth. If that is the truth for this time in my life, then I am grateful.
James 1: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.