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1 Sheep… 2 Sheep… 3 Sheep…

Psalm 4:8 "I go to bed and sleep in peace, because, Lord, only you keep me safe."

Have you ever had night after night where you either can't fall asleep or you wake up for no reason and can't fall back asleep? No matter how hard you try, you lay there too tired to get out of bed, yet too awake to sleep. You close your eyes but just can't sleep.

What have you tried? There's the, counting sheep method, I even tried to picture them jumping over the fence as I count. My grandmother taught me to start at my feet and imagine each part of my body falling asleep as I moved to my mind. That helps sometimes, other times everything wakes back up about halfway through. Sometimes I run through stories in my mind that I've read or want to write but that too can start my mind on an active run. Other times I have tried warm milk or eating. Some people have shared that when they can't fall asleep or wake up suddenly unable to fall back asleep, they pray for anyone who might be needing prayers at that moment and it helps. What are things you have tried while fighting insomnia?

But what can you do when this is an unending occurrence? When it begins to affect your daily life because you're too tired to function or think.

I'm going to share story about a friend, we’ll call her Susan. Susan struggled with insomnia for many nights. She fell asleep easy enough but like clockwork, she'd wake up each night unable to fall back asleep. She tried all the tricks, but nothing helped. The more her nights went on like this the more she began to worry, and sleep became harder to come by. It began to affect her work during the day and the dark circles under her eyes made her look older than she was.

Finally, one night she decided to pick up her Bible and do some reading. As she read, she found so many encouraging verses and promises throughout the pages that her missed sleep turned into a time of blessings. She decided that each night she would count her blessings instead of sheep and be grateful for the quiet hours she could spend with Jesus. She no longer dreaded it when her body woke her up in those morning hours because she knew she'd be spiritually fed.

She soon found herself falling back to sleep easier and eventually her insomnia stopped. However, she now found herself finding other times through the day for her blessing encounters with God, where God could teach her truth, joy, and a new way of living. Susan learned the answer to a peaceful sleep came from counting her blessings.

We've all had nights like Susan, some more than others. There are some fixes that help and sometimes nothing helps. One thing we can all learn from Susan, is that in those times of insomnia instead of counting sheep we need to call on the Shepherd. In those quiet, sleepless hours Jesus might want to talk to us and share with us because we are at our stillest. If you find yourself unable to sleep try, like Susan, opening up your Bible and see what God has for you. Talk to the Shepherd and count your blessings.

I heard this prayer and fell in love with how it spoke to me and found it a good way to close my days before falling asleep.

Dear Lord, as this day is coming to an end, please help me to relax and let go of all my stress. I ask for your peace to overtake my heart and to embrace my dreams and sleep. May your words and promises quiet the worried and anxious thoughts that fill my head. I give you all the things that are beyond my control and trust them in your hands. I give you thanks in advance for all you do. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

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