Psalm 127:2, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
I confess these past few months have been busy.
My work schedule keeps me busy during the week with its daily early morning demands and last minute projects to finish before clocking out for the day; and my weekends are filled with wedding planning with my fiancée Jesse, which does not leave me much time for rest.
Additionally, I haven’t been good about using what time I do have to myself for the rest I need. For some reason, I can’t seem to get to bed.
I say for some reason. I know the reason: I always want to know what is going on. My mind doesn’t want to shut off. It won’t wind down, not when things are happening not only in the town where I live, but also in the surrounding towns, county, area, state, nation, and the world. Whether that be entertainment or news, or entertainment news, or anything and everything in-between, I’m inundated with information that my mind still processes while I lay in bed. Always processing, never resting.
That busy, always on, always connected schedule caught up to me a few weekends ago when I came down with the flu.
I was at my Thursday night writers group when I felt completely exhausted and more than a little overwhelmed about the prospect of another busy Friday through Sunday. By God’s grace, I powered through the meeting. I arrived home only to develop a severe headache, fever, and chills. I promptly took a bath and put on some tea, then went to bed, expecting to wake and get on to work the next day.
That didn’t happen.
I woke in a bed of sweat. Thankfully, that meant the fever broke, but it left a nasty headache in its wake, along with a cough and a pretty sore throat. No way was I going into work Friday. So I stayed home and rested. I got my first eight hours of uninterrupted sleep for the first time in I don’t know when. Though I had the headache, it felt great to wake without feeling as if I needed just another hour or two of sleep before getting on with my day.
I tend to pride myself in how busy my job is, how many hours of work I get, and even feel a tinge of that nasty pride seep in when I complain about my lack of sleep to anyone with an open ear – most of the time that ends up being my fiancée Jesse. She is so gracious to put up with my calls after work, filled with complaints of tiredness and the stresses of the day. Thank God for her willingness to listen.
Busyness was becoming my idol. Lack of sleep, stress, and anxiety were its demanded offerings.
I forgot how refreshing it was to sleep without worry of an alarm clock blaring at any moment. I forgot how much I needed rest. I forgot the world continues to go ‘round when I’m fast asleep. I forgot God is in control, not me. I forgot all those things and was too busy to stop and think about it.
I know it sounds strange to say, but thank God I got the flu.
I needed to get sick in order to remember that precious truth of God’s sovereignty over my life. There’s so much to worry about if you think it’s all up to yourself. There’s no room to worry when you know it’s all in God’s hands.
Life gets busy. Stresses grow and anxieties compound. If you let it, they can infect your every thought and action. Christ said sufficient enough are the evils of each day. I need to take Him more at His word, than the little voice of worry in the back of my mind.
I know things will work out in the end because I know the One who determined it, and I know I am His. My worries only serve to stress me and hinder my health, my time with friends and family, and my time to relax and unwind after dealing with the evils of the day. Each day is a precious gift from God, and God used my sickness as yet another reminder to not waste the current day by being anxious about what comes next.