Sleepless night

What can be worse than a night when sleep, though desperately needed by a tired body, is denied. Time itself appears to go so much slower through the darkness of night; what frustration ensues; such tossing and turning; the mind endlessly remembering the previous days worries while tomorrow’s anxious thoughts, unasked for, come flooding in.

Centuries ago, Bulstrode Whitlock(e), Cromwell’s envoy to Sweden, was plagued by just such a disturbed night because he was so worried about the state of his nation. His servant, much concerned for his master, asked that he might be given leave to ask a question. Permission granted, he continued, “Do you think that God governed the world very well before you came into it?”

“Undoubtably,” was the reply.

“And do you not think that He will govern the world quite as well when you are gone out of it?”


The servant then humbly suggested to his tired master, “Do you not think that you may trust Him to govern it as long as you live?”

No answer. 

Composure and sleep followed.

Generations later, so many of us have not learned the lesson given by that unknown servant. Yet God Himself in His word, (through another servant, the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6,7), exhorts us: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.’ 

‘Is there a heart o’erbound by sorrow?

Is there a life weighed down by care?

Come to the cross, each burden bearing,

All your anxiety - leave it there.


All your anxiety, all your care,

Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there,

Never a burden He cannot bear,

Never a friend like Jesus!’

                           Edward H. Joy