The front door closed with force as my almost 5 year old bundle of dynamite called out my name.
“Mom,” she said.
“I’m in the kitchen.”
“MOOOOMMMMM!!!” she yelled as walked into the kitchen with her hands on her hips.
“Um, excuse me. Why are you yelling in the house? Is there a problem?”
Smacking her lips she said with urgency, “Mom! This is serious. Really, really serious!”
And then I knew one of three things was about to happen…
- she was about to tattle on someone,
- she was about to tell me an outlandish tale of a tale, or
- she was about to ask a question that quite possibly I wouldn’t know the answer to (because almost 5 year olds can ask some very tough, mind blowing questions!)
Eyebrows raised, eyes wide as saucers, hands now dancing with her words she began,
“Mom! Does God sleep!?”
I smiled because I knew the answer. And my hands danced a dance of joy.
“No!” I said, “God does NOT sleep! Never, ever, ever!”
Relieved, she swiped her hand across her forehead muttered a quick “Whew!” and off she went.
Does God sleep?
It can be a tough question to answer because when the heart hurts deep, or the kids are fighting, or the husband has to work late again, or the girls’ night out includes all the girls but you, or the bank account is minus zero, or the pantry is empty, or you binged & purged or didn’t eat at all, or you secretly stopped by the liquor store on the way home from the grocery and drank the bottle dry after you put the kids to bed, or life just plain sucks and all the joy, peace, and abundant living that’s supposed to be a byproduct of the “Christian life” seems to have passed us over, it’s very easy to assume that God sleeps.
When all in the “spiritual realm” remains silent, and prayers go unanswered, and malignant tumors are diagnosed, and teenage children are having sex and doing drugs, and marriages fail, and friends take their lives, and babies die, it’s very easy to assume that God sleeps.
Our friends, they try to encourage us in those moments when we feel God sleeps by saying pray about it or God is in control or stay focused on Jesus or everything happens for a reason or this too shall pass. And we smile at their kind gesture while secretly wanting to punch them in the face because in the deep, secret places of the heart the pain seems absolutely unbearable and we want nothing more than to cry and curse God and jump head first off a cliff.
“God sleeps,” we reason, “because if He were awake none of this would be happening.”
But there’s a truth, a fact of the matter, a no doubt about it, an assurance that God does in fact, NOT sleep, NOR does He slumber but is indeed always actively working behind the scenes orchestrating beauty for His people.
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.”
Psalm 121:1-8, NASB (emphasis added)
My friends, God does NOT sleep. Never, ever, ever! I know it’s a truth that’s hard to swallow in moments of heart wrenching pain, uncertainty, and doubt. But whether or not we feel it, truth is truth. Facts are facts. Scripture is living and active. And God is wide awake working all things—good, bad, lovely and indifferent—according to His purpose, for our good, and ultimately for His glory (Romans 8:28).
I don’t know about you, but for me…that’s a relief!