“Yet, the strength of those who wait with hope in the Lord will be renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and won’t become weary. They will walk and won’t grow tired.” Isaiah 40:31 GW
Ever since we were children, we’ve been told how important it is to get our 8 hours of sleep. Scientists have learned that too little sleep can affect how our bodies function, but what exactly does sleep do?
We all know that lack of sleep can leave us cranky the next day. But when that lack becomes a chronic problem, it can lead to depression or anxiety. No wonder moms of newborns suffer from post-partum depression!
As we sleep our bodies produce extra protein molecules which strengthen our immune systems to fight the onslaught of cell damaging irritants we face each day like pollutants or bacteria. Proper rest reduces stress and inflamation which are major causes of heart problems.
But did you know that sleep is a great diet aid? It allows the body the time it needs to regulate the hormones that control appetite and the rate at which our bodies process glucose. People who sleep less than 5 hours per night may have an increased risk for developing diabetes according to some sleep studies.
And this bit of research was totally new to me: We need a good, restful night’s sleep to help our memories and cognitive functions. For example, if you learn a new or complicated task during the day, you need a good night’s sleep to process and remember what you learned. Also, you will probably have difficulty learning new things if you sleep poorly the night before. That doesn’t bode well for students burning the midnight oil or cramming for tests.
Spiritually speaking, as we “wait with hope in the Lord,” it’s a lot like getting a good night’s sleep. It’s definitely not wasted time. During this spiritual waiting or “sleep” time, our trust muscles are strengthened; our spiritual immune systems are being renewed and restored with God’s word and prayer for the difficult days ahead. It’s also a time to explore in-depth the relationship we share with Christ.
Help me Lord to wait with hope in you – to bask in your presence so I can rise up refreshed and renewed to meet the stresses and challenges of each new day. Amen!