By sis Ong Siew Siew
“Insomnia” is one word we all don’t want to associate with. It spells the fear of staying wide-eyed in the middle of the night while everyone is fast asleep. We are afraid of the consequences if we do not get enough rest. I used to have severe insomnia for months and the thought of suffering from it at night still terrifies me. We need to know the underlying reasons, such as drinking too much caffeine or a stressful day, as this helps us to avoid facing the same problem of insomnia in future. However, sometimes it can be a medical condition, so we need to be aware and be kind to ourselves knowing that all illnesses require time to heal. Personally, I have gradually learnt to develop a positive mindset towards my fear for insomnia.
So, I’m writing this article in the wee hours of the night. Yes, while having insomnia. This time round, it is due to my wilful self who caved in to caffeine in the late afternoon. I am not able to go to sleep, but I can make better use of my time while I am awake. I can turn something seemingly bad into something good and fruitful. Here, I am going to list down some things that we can do when we are troubled, or when we have that extra time in our hands:
Praying to God Whenever we are troubled, no matter how small or dire the situation, we can always count on our Lord to deliver us. God is all-knowing and He can definitely help us with our troubles. He certainly can help, but we need to ask. The point of asking reflects our faith in Him. Even when we think that our problems are too great to be solved, going to Him in prayer is an act of faith — the faith as a grain of mustard seed. God wants us to draw near to him first and He will follow suit.
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” – Matthew 17: 20
Studying biblical examples
It is always good to study biblical characters who have faced similar issues. We can learn how to overcome our problems through their examples. In my case, I choose to learn from David in Psalms 3. I can imagine how anxious he would have been since he was under the pursuit of Absalom. The possibility of a sneak attack in the middle of his sleep would definitely cause him great distress and fear. However, David chose to focus on God. He cried to the Lord, and God sustained and gave him rest. If God could answer David’s prayer, He definitely can answer ours too.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” – 1 John 5:14-15
Such is the power of prayer when we pray according to His will. It is so powerful that we can know our prayers will be answered even as we pray. With such privilege to pray to God as Christians, do we even need miracles in this day and age? Certainly no!
Meditate on bible verses
What are the problems that cause us to lose sleep? Are there any verses that we can seek comfort in? When we meditate on God’s word, we can derive wisdom and happiness, just like the psalmist of Psalms 119. When we are at peace and meditate on God’s word on a daily basis, we will realise that our troubles will be reduced as we are better equipped with His words of comfort and promise.
“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.” – Psalms 119:97-98
Write a bulletin article
After meditating on verses that can help us tide through our issues, we can in turn share our understanding and study through the form of a bulletin article that can edify other brethren with similar problems. When something besets us, Satan wants us to harp on it and spiral downwards. It can be our choice to pull ourselves out of the pit and make good use of every situation. It always begins with a positive mindset and that energy can be channelled from one person to another through forms of encouragement.
I am grateful that I can manage to make good use of my “troubled time” to write this article, as I have since started to feel a little bit sleepy. In any case, we need to find ways to busy ourselves with the work of the Lord, like what Paul, the apostle, has said in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.”