Sleep as Bridge Between Despair and Hope…

The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.  E. Joseph Cossman

Meditation: This sentence has been a favorite saying of my mother when she raised us four children while being the pastor’s wife of a traditional German congregation that expected much from their pastor and from his family. I love my mother for her pragmatic ways of dealing with life. And it was so true, 50 year ago: the only therapy or luxury she had available to her to restore her strength and courage for the next day, was a good night sleep. My father who was an anxious personality would always go to bed at 10 pm and get up at 5:30 am. He then would also routinely take a mid-day nap. This strict ritual helped him deal with his anxiety that being an introvert while filling an extrovert job brought about. And it is so true: Our bodies and souls are so interconnected. We can help our emotional bodies by allowing our physical bodies to rest and sleep. While sleeping, our unconscious is allowed to process by finding expression in symbols and emotional dreams. When we awake, we have made a whole journey through those overwhelming and despairing emotions that earlier had felt too heavy to carry. And when we awake, we feel lighter. God lifts our burdens while we sleep and helps us carry.

Prayer: God, we thank You for the healing that happens when we sleep. Thank You for all those dreams that help us process what otherwise seems just too much and overwhelming. Thank You that Your Spirit and our unconscious are so closely linked. When we sleep they work together on our behalf. And so, we are grateful for every night of restful sleep, for every dream that helps us move through despair, and for every nap that restores us, even in the middle of the day. Amen

It is a waste of time to get up early and stay up late, trying to make a living. The Lord provides for those he loves, even while they are sleeping. Psalm 127:2

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