Coping with Long, Sleepless Nights

sleeplessWhen sleep doesn’t come and the long night awakes, how do you avoid feeling the loneliness? Our new writer, Melanie, shares.

“[God] will not let your foot slip–He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:3,4).

Has pain or anxiety robbed you of longed-for and much needed sleep?

Sleepless nights can be the loneliest of times. Everyone you know and love is either asleep, far away, or both. In the long, dark watches of the night the hours and minutes drag their heels while you toss and turn.

The more eagerly you pursue sleep, the more it eludes you. And self-pity prowls around us at these times, seeking to drag us down.

Perhaps these seem to you the most God-forsaken times. This is how it can feel. But feelings are not the same as facts. And feelings can be influenced and changed. Who is keeping vigil with you throughout these long, lonely nights?

The Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, your Lord and Maker, watches through the night with you, whether you sleep or not. He assures us in this Psalm that He does not slumber or sleep. He watches over His children.

Do you have children? As a mother or father, have you watched through the night when your little one was ill or fretful? Have you sat by the bedside just to be there, to be close at hand? Can you see that this is what God does for you?

I find comfort in the song “For this I have Jesus” by Graham Kendrick. You can find the video below (or if you are reading this in your email, click the title of this devotional to go to the link).

Prayer: Lord, my Father, Thank You for reminding me that You don’t sleep. Although at present You do not seem to be taking away my pain or anxiety, thank You for watching over me as a loving parent sitting at the bedside of a precious child. Help me to remember this truth on every sleepless night. Strengthen me not to give in to self-pity. Help me to rest in Your loving presence. Amen.

About the author:
Melanie Hodges has had chronic migraine for 9 years. She lives in north east London with her husband and two teenage girls. She enjoys writing and walking with her mad spaniel, Pinto.

What would you pack in your “treat bag” for getting through those long, lonely, sleepless nights–a favorite verse, a photo of a precious memory, an encouraging card sent by a special friend?

This is the song Melanie speaks of, “For This I have Jesus” by Graham Kendrick. I hope the lyrics remind you that it is for those sleepless nights, for that weakened body we have Jesus. Hugs, -Lisa