Enduring Those Painful, Sleepless Nights When Chronically Ill

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.” (Psalm 23:1-2)

It’s 12:30 AM and I’m awake. Tossing and turning. Shifting to find the perfect comfortable position, to no avail. Desperate to get some sleep, I turn on the T.V. hoping the news might lull me into slumber. Half an hour later: still wide awake.

Ignore the pain. Think of something else. Try praying

2:00 AM and I’ve prayed for all my loved ones. I advise myself: Instead of sheep, count your blessings one by one. Then you’ll see what the Lord has done.

Dear God, I’m grateful that I can still walk. And that my multiple sclerosis hasn’t affected my vision. Thank you for a loving husband who tenderly cares for my medical needs. For sending Your son to die for my sin. For Your faithfulness to provide strength for today. . .

Two hours later I’m a bit drowsy. Gratitude floods my soul. Masks my pain.

Finally, I drift off. Only to awaken in the morning sleep-deprived. Seeking God’s help to be joyful around others in spite of exhaustion.

Does that sound like your typical nighttime routine? Several days of that can feel a bit like torture.

Ask any new parent who has worn down patches of carpet rocking an infant to sleep. His tiny eyes perpetually alert. As if mocking his mother’s drooping eyelids, heavier than barbells. The baby who has his nights and days reversed doesn’t understand his mom doesn’t have the luxury of snoozing during the day. It will seem impossible for her to function the next day. Tired. Exhausted. Cranky.

In 2 Corinthians 11:24-27, Paul includes sleeplessness among his list of physical pains and trials: beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, in hunger and thirst. . . and without sleep.

Pain can interrupt sleep. What’s the solution? Trust God each night to provide sweet and pleasant sleep.

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)

“‘I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.’ At this I awoke and looked around. My sleep had been pleasant to me.” (Jeremiah 31:25-26)

“. . . He grants sleep to those He loves.” (Psalm 127:2)

Prayer: Dear Father, Help me this night fall fast asleep. If I awaken during the night, maintain my focus on the private fellowship with You rather than on my pain. Lead me beside the quiet waters of a peaceful mind. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her online community she reaches out to other parents of children with special needs. http://theblogfrog.com/1505794

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What do you do when you lie awake at night? What eventually helps you get to sleep?