You may be able to relate: your body is ready for sleep, but your mind isn’t. Frustrating, isn’t it?
Some nights while trying to fall asleep, my mind is still racing after a busy day. Unfinished tasks threaten to nag my weary body back out of bed. I forgot to transfer the laundry. I started the dishwasher, right? When does that order need to be finished by again?
When waking in the middle of the night, I sometimes struggle to quiet my mind, too. Unsolved problems attack my mind and anxiety attacks my heart as I flounder to find the underlying causes, hopeful that resolutions will suddenly materialize.
I’ve had numerous bouts with sleeplessness (usually due to adrenal exhaustion). When the insomnia-insanity flares, it’s not long before I’m looking for an easy solution—because who wants to exert energy when you’re exhausted?
My friend, I found the answer!
It’s times like these that I think about Isaiah 26:3. Why just this specific verse? Wait until I tell you about it.
This verse works! I concentrate on thinking only about this scripture over and over, and next thing I know the Sandman has come to visit.
This process has turned into a sort of sleeping pill.
But seriously, it gets better.
The other night I was having one of those nights of tossing and turning. As I was about to pop my “spiritual sleeping pill,” I had the idea to think about each word and savor it slowly like a piece of chocolate. It surprised me at how each word spoke a 3-second sermon to my weary soul. Check out this breakdown.
Meditating on Isaiah 26:3
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 ESV
You. This word is referring to God. It’s always good to get God on the brain.
Keep. What a comforting word! When I think about “keep,” I think about when you are purging old, unused items in your house and you ask the question, “Do I toss or keep?” The items you keep are, of course, the ones that are valuable to you. In relating this word to your savoring process, I think God is “keeping” you. He is keeping you close and safe.
Him. This word refers to you—His child. You can know that this promise is specifically for you.
In. This word is a preposition. It is often used in a prepositional phrase such as “in the basket.” It shows placement. The dictionary actually says it indicates inclusion in a space. So let’s see which area this word is taking you.
Perfect. If any gift is coming from God, you know it is going to be perfect. (James 1:17) I looked this word up in the Greek Lexicon for this verse and found that it is tied in with the word “peace” which directly follows it. That means they come as a unit.
Peace. It stems from the root Shalom, from H7999, and means “safety, soundness (in body).” That is perfect when you’re trying to go to sleep! Peace, indeed!
Whose. A possessive pronoun referring to something you own. What do you possess? See the next word.
Mind. Your mind is involved here. No one else gets to decide what is on your mind but you. Go back and read the previous sentence again.
Is. This is a state of being verb, indicating what is in existence or happening now.
Stayed. Now you get to the action that you do! “Stayed” here means your mind is fixed. Concentrating. Meditating.
On. This word is a preposition that helps you realize what something is attached to or is supported by (for example, on the table.) What your mind is fixed and concentrating on is attached to something else. In this case, Someone else.
You. God, again! It started with God—now you are going to keep God on your mind.
The Home Stretch of Your Meditating
Hang in there because you’re coming to the home stretch with this verse!
Because. This word lets you know that there is a reason coming. What is going to catapult your promise into place?
He. “He” is referring to you again. It’s a heads up that you have another part to play in the process.
Trusts. Not only do you choose to concentrate on thinking about God, but choose to trust Him. Remember the weights that have been keeping you awake, or causing that feeling of unrest? Oh, yeah, this is why you started meditating on this verse! It’s at this moment that the choice arises to trust God.
In. Remember this word shows placement, and it indicates inclusion in a space. So let’s see which area this word is taking you.
You. This word brings you to God. You trust in Him. Not your circumstances, problems, stresses, other people, money, jobs, possessions, or anything else. Just. God.
The next time you are tossing and turning because problems are plaguing your mind, try this! When you’re bored trying to go to sleep, try this “sleeping pill”! If you are worried during the night—or day—think through the words in this verse.
Slowly. Let them savor—like a piece of chocolate. God will minister life and peace to your heart through His word.
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