It began as a quest to find sleep. I am of the firm belief that every ailment or struggle has a solution in the Bible… even evasive sleep. For as long as I can remember, sleep didn’t come easy for me. I am a self-proclaimed light sleeper and I consider heavy sleepers (the kind that pass out once their head touches a pillow) blessed. As I toss and turn in bed, I wonder why the crickets have to be especially loud tonight or why the birds have to sing their song so early, even before the sun comes out… I even hear the bullfrogs croaking from a mile away. Even the sound of the air easing through the vents keeps me drifting out of sleep. The airplane pillow sometimes helps, sometimes not. I refuse to label it, whatever it is… Some insists (mostly my mom) that the hour(s) I toss is considered my hour to pray, to reflect. And perhaps it is, but I am frustrated that it would be when I need sleep the most.

Tonight, I pause and stay awake. I’ve ordered yet another sleep mask. This time with lavender, because it has sleep-inducing properties. But as I click the ‘buy’ button and watch Amazon take my money, I snort in the quiet of my room. Lavender. A natural remedy to sleep. But isn’t there something stronger?

He gives his beloved sleep.

I blink in the dark. Is that a verse that just popped into my mind?

He gives his beloved sleep.

It’s a verse I’ve heard said a thousand and one times before, mostly in my struggle to find sleep.

Sleep that evades me, obtained by Him. By God.

I turn to the table by my bed and sightlessly spot my Bible in the dark. My mom’s caution about this sleepless hour belonging to God echoes in my mind. I hesitate, wanting to try again with sleeping on my own.

He gives his beloved sleep.

I toss back the covers and grab my Bible. And leave the comfort of my firm mattress and airplane pillow. And head downstairs; the birds cheer me on for sacrificing my sleepless hour. It is a begrudging action, one I oftentimes ignore. But tonight, it’s different. I’m searching for something. A cure for sleeplessness.

So with bleary eyes and a weary mind, I pray a short prayer as I flip the pages of my Bible.

“Alright God, I’m awake. Show me something…” while in the back of my mind, I’m whining for sleep.

He gives his beloved sleep.

I pause flipping pages. Sleep. Beloved. He gives.

He gives. Who? God. What? Sleep, which evades me. To whom? His Beloved.

I flip to the concordance at the back, because I can’t recall where I saw this verse. It ironically is in the ‘sleep’ category and not the ‘beloved’ category, and I allow myself an ironic smile as I flip to Psalms.

Psalms 127:1-2, NIV

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for he grants sleep to those he loves.”

He gives his Beloved sleep.

The word ‘Beloved’ echoes in my head, imprinting itself in my mind.

I spot a verse linked to the word, Beloved.

Deuteronomy 33:12, NIV

“… Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rest between his shoulders.”

Beloved, the one the Lord loves.

My heart skips a beat. The one the Lord loves…

I frown. Who is the one the Lord loves?

I flip back to my concordance, and my eyes widen. Pages upon pages are linked to the word ‘love’ and the conjugates of the word.

As the birds twitter their morning song and the air blows on my face, I sit back and let the realization settle in my mind…

The Bible is a love letter from God to his Beloved.

And whoever His beloved is, finds rest. And blessed sleep.

I sit up, ready to investigate who this letter is addressed to. Because the letter belongs to God’s beloved and if I discover who the beloved is, I find the cure to sleeplessness.

It is 6:00am. The choir of birds and crickets are singing their fifth song, and I’m no longer interested in sleep because I’m seeking something better.

The identity of His Beloved.

Jeremiah 29:13, NIV

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for keeping me awake this morning. Thank you especially for sending your word to my heart, even in my sleepless hour. Your word said that if I seek you with all of my heart, I will find you. I know that finding you, I discover who your Beloved is. Help me on this journey to discover who your Beloved is. Grant me patience to endure as I seek you, and open my heart to receive all you will show me in this journey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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