I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me. – Psalm 3:5
Peace to all of you who are in Christ. – 1 Peter 5:14
There have been times in my life when I could not sleep. I would wake up at 3 in the morning with ideas, worries, concerns, and self-chastisement running through my mind. When that happens I pray the Lord’s Prayer over and over. I find, during those times, that I will stop or lose my train of thought at a certain point in the prayer. Then I reflect on that thought: Is there a sin I need to confess? Is there a failure to recognize God’s daily provision? Am I giving into temptation – or even inviting it?
Restful sleep is a gift of a clear conscience. It may also be the reward for a full day’s work. It may also be the gift of God we enjoy by his grace. In any case, the gift of peace from God, through faith in Jesus Christ is a precious blessing.
That peace also colors the way we relate to others in our day to day interactions. If we are at peace with God we can be more kind to our cranky neighbor, more understanding with our boorish boss, and (dare I say it?) more patient in the snarl of rush hour traffic. Peace inside manifests itself in a peaceful outward demeanor. The fullness of that peace brings health to the body and rest to the soul. We may not fully experience that until we rest in peace. But any foretaste of that is a gift from God for which we give him thanks and praise.