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Sleep Entitlement  

It’s become a morning ritual. Yawning in the kitchen, my wife and I ask each other, How did you sleep? Often, the answer is, “Not so good.”  For many of us, there’s a story that usually tumbles out—accompanied by a complaint:

  • Just for once, I’d like to wake up refreshed!
  • How come I wake up feeling so exhausted!

Now, I like (and need) sleep as much as the next person. A European study of almost 25,000 people demonstrated that sleeping six hours or less was associated with a 40 percent increased risk of developing cancer compared to folks getting seven hours of sleep or more. But where do any of us get the notion that we somehow deserve good sleep?

Ecclesiastes 5:12 comments, “Sweet is the sleep of a laborer.” That generalization is true, but there’s no promise implied. Psalm 4:8 remarks, "In peace, I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Lovely testimony—but again, no bulletproof guarantees.

Here’s what I think. Sleep is a gift. It’s always been a gift. And because we’ve enjoyed so much of it for so many years, we’ve come to view sleep as an entitlement: We should experience sleep whenever we want, as much as we want, as often as we want. But maybe we need to learn to see sleep as the gracious gift of a merciful Creator rather than an inherent right.

The truth is, you and I live in a fallen world. Sin has impacted everything—including our quality of sleep. How could that not be so? Why, then, should we complain when we don’t get as much as we think we need?

What if we turned our daily whining into daily gratitude toward God? Example: Thanks for the sleep I DID enjoy. I had no right to a single snore—but thank you for your kindness, Lord.

We are forgiven sinners, you and I, indebted forever to a merciful God. Which means sleep is not a right—it’s a gift. 

Every snore.

Every hour.

Every night.

…Good night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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