Sleepless Nights

Josh Hamilton
Sleep is a necessity, and we cannot live without it. So often, if you're like me, sleep can be taken for granted. My wife is constantly jealous of my ability to shut my brain off and fall asleep in less than 5 minutes. Maybe it comes from being in the military and having to sleep anywhere and at awkward times.

I can remember the time we were doing some field training before going to Iraq. I had joined a new company, and they didn't have anywhere for a few of us to sleep, so we had to sleep in the back of a Humvee. The back of the Humvee was not a flat surface because it had places to strap down ammo cans and other cargo. We rolled out our half-inch thick PT mat to try and sleep on, and I used my rucksack as a pillow. That night was the worst night's sleep I have ever had. As if the horrible sleeping conditions weren't bad enough, to make things worse, it started raining, and the Humvee was not watertight. The rain started dripping on me that night. It was a rough night, but somehow, I was able to get some sleep.

Years later, with lots of practice, I could sleep anywhere, anytime. I have slept through just about anything. Once I slept through an entire movie at the theater. Loud sounds and uncomfortable seats didn't even phase me. I just passed out. I was able to sleep during the day with a house full of kids playing and homeschooling when I was working the night shift. Let's not even discuss how frustrated it would make my wife that the crying baby never woke me up in the middle of the night.
Recently, I have not been able to fall asleep as fast. My mind is now racing through so many thoughts of different scenarios that took place throughout that day or things I was troubled by. I found myself losing sleep, waking up several times throughout the night even. Not knowing what to do, I started praying. Praying about the things I couldn't stop thinking about. I figured if something was important enough to keep me up at night and occupy my mind, it was important enough to pray about.

Giving those thoughts to God and talking through things with Him helped me so much. We can't forget that God cares about what we care about, and He cares about what we're worried about.
Prayer is the answer to my sleepless nights.

Prayer is the answer to my worried mind.

Prayer is the answer to my anxious heart that I have from time to time.

God has called us to rest, but the only way we can find that rest is to give Him our burdens. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29

"Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Prayer changes those restless nights into restful nights.

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