“Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever (Psalm 44:23).”
As a teacher, I get summers off. It’s a great time to catch up on sleep I don’t get during the school year. This summer has been even longer because I am unemployed at the moment. But it is about time to get back to work. I can’t sleep forever.
The Bible seems to have the same balanced view of sleep. On the one hand, it says that it’s futile to lose sleep over our work and lives, that God gives us sleep (Psalm 127:2). On the other hand, it takes a dim view of laziness and sleeping too much (Proverbs 24:33).
Sometimes we sleep during what seems like inappropriate times. Jesus slept on a boat during a bad storm (Matthew 8:24), while the apostle Peter slept hooked up to some chains and resting between two guards. Most of us would be terrified in either situation.
But what about God? Sometimes I think He is asleep at the wheel. I look at my own situation or that of others and I wonder if God is taking a siesta. I get really anxious and most of the time try to take matters into my own hands, sometimes with some very bad results.
The thing is, the Bible says God is not like us, He doesn’t need sleep and He in fact watches over us all the time (Psalm 121:3,4). My own impatience comes because I forget about God’s concept of time compared to mine. I’m in a hurry for Him to rescue me, while to Him a thousand years are like one day or a night watch (Psalm 90:2-4). He’s got His reasons for doing things in His own time.
Still, as a finite human I wish He would come through a little sooner occasionally. And I don’t think He really minds that I complain to Him about it.