Recently my husband and I traveled to Portland, Oregon. We strolled downtown and anticipated our stay at the Sentinel Hotel, described on their website as “a luxury hotel with vision” with signature amenities: pillow menu, luxurious linens, beehives on the rooftop for producing local honey, and hand crafted ice cream.
Our day ended with a lovely meal. Fully satisfied and relaxed, we walked to our welcoming suite at the Sentinel. Everything seemed perfect for a restful night’s sleep. We crawled into the luxurious, king size bed with fluffy pillows, and turned out the lights. But then it started: so . . . much . . . noise!
The MAX Light Rail clanged on its tracks. People exited restaurants and clubs. Horns honked. Buses rumbled. A woman belted out an off-key song at the top of her nicotine- damaged lungs. Accoutrements offered by the Sentinel did not provide sound sleep, not even in that perfect room!
But, long ago in a different place, the apostle Peter experienced sound sleep in a less than perfect room where sleep would have seemed unlikely!
Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. . . When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. Acts 12:1-6
Peter was resting in prison! No king size bed. No pillow (not even one). No luxurious sheets. How could this be?
His friend had just been murdered by Herod. He was bound with chains between two soldiers. Peter’s future seemed bleak!
How . . . could . . . he sleep? Here are some reasons sleep was a reality for him.
- Peter had learned to trust Jesus— the One who walked on water, the One he once denied. Peter knew Jesus conquered death and the grave—Jesus was alive.
- Others prayed for Peter. He was chained by men, but Peter was kept by Jesus.
While real physical circumstances may sabotage your sleep, your soul can rest in sweet assurance and peace because of Jesus. The psalmist wrote, “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8 NKJV).
Clearly, Peter learned to rest in Jesus, even when circumstances where frightening, uncomfortable, and uncertain. What about you? I pray you rest in knowing you are kept by Jesus.
God’s grace continues to prove sufficient in my middle-aged life. Most nights I sleep well; however, on that rare occasion when my mind is working overtime or my heart is heavy, not so much. But be sure, I rest well and completely in Jesus – and that is something Advil PM can’t provide.
About the Writer:
Cindy serves the Lord and receives great joy by teaching for almost 23 years in the Vessels Sunday School class, and through Oasis Women’s Bible studies at First Baptist Dallas.