As a pastor I spend a lot of time with Christians who struggle with sleep. This is far more common than we think. Some people struggle with sleep for some physical reasons (lifestyle issues like drinking too much caffeine or working too late) and some for psychological reasons (like depression, anxiety, etc). This is not a simple problem with a simple solution, the kind of pastoral situation that you have a ‘one size fits all’ approach. So it was with great joy that I came across a rather new book by Adrian Reynolds called ‘And so to Bed…: A Biblical View of Sleep‘.
At around 70 pages and less than £5 this is a great little book that is accessible to anyone. Adrian Reynolds briefly, clearly and helpfully explains:
-why we need to sleep
-why sleep is a gift from God
-how sleep is linked to trusting God
-how sleep is a picture of our Ultimate rest
-some practical ways to help us sleep
-a series of spiritual steps to help us sleep more effectively
I love that the book is very biblical and sensible. Adrian walks us through many passages of the Bible and explains deep truths that can minister to our souls and help us to sleep. My favorite thought from the book is:
Perhaps, though, the most important thought this adds to what we’ve already seen is this: we can sleep because God does not.
Here is the beautiful, wonderful, amazing, breath-taking paradox of sleep. We can sleep because He does not! It is precisely God’s sleeplessness (or more exactly, His lack of need for sleep) that means our sleep can be safe, sound and tranquil. God’s sleepless character is the very reason that the good gift of sleep He gives to His children can be both treasured and enjoyed.
Whilst being honest and practical, this book is also sensitive and compassionate. You never feel judged or attacked as Adrian applies the balm of the gospel to the bane of sleeplessness.
If you struggle with sleeping for whatever reason, or know someone who does, this book is for you.