There are many reasons sleep is good for the soul, but here’s an important one. Sleep forces a pastor to let go of the daily burdens and trust Jesus. When we desire to control our lives, it is hard to let go of that. All sleep does for the Christian is it reminds us we are truly not in control.
When we lie down to sleep we cannot escape that truth, even though we may have deceived ourselves all day about it. Pastors carry a tremendous amount of burden throughout the day. What a gift sleep can especially be for the pastor and his soul to relinquish those burdens to Jesus as we drift off to sleep.
I try to use my final moments before drifting off to sleep to say in my clear awareness of exhaustion this prayer to God:
God, I am reminded at this moment I am not God. I am only human. I need sleep. I can’t do anymore right now. But you are God. You don’t need sleep. You are all-powerful and everywhere. This moment is a gift as I get to sleep and let go of all these burdens I have carried for my people today. Help me to let go and give them over to you. Watch over me and my family tonight for you are a God that doesn’t sleep or slumber. May your mercies be new tomorrow. Thank you.
Pastors, sleep is a gift. Embrace it. Use it each night to unburden your soul and bring you some temporary relief. I assure you, there will be plenty for your soul to bear in the morning.