July 07, 2024

Trouble Falling Asleep

Esther 6:1-11

That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him.

—  Esther 6:1

Like many people, I occasionally have trouble falling asleep. When that happens, I often start counting backwards in Chinese from a thousand, hoping to fall asleep before reaching yi (“one”). That usually works, but if it doesn’t, I eventually get up and rummage through the fridge for something to eat.

King Xerxes of Persia had insomnia one night, so he called to his servants to read to him from the record of his reign. The king discovered that Mordecai, an exiled Jew living under his rule, had saved the king’s life without being rewarded. So the king ordered that Mordecai be honored throughout his kingdom. As we read more of this story, we discover that the king’s sleepless night plays a key role in the deliverance of the Jews from being annihilated (Esther 2:19-8:14).

Here we can see God working behind the scenes to protect his people. Evil forces were arrayed against the Jews, but God used his captive, humble servants to touch the king’s heart and turn destruction away from his people. God uses Xerxes, Mordecai, and Esther to keep his promises “for such a time as this” (4:14).

Even in our moments of sleeplessness we can be assured that God is always working to keep his promises. We can always be assured of his love and care.

In our times of sleeplessness, Lord, help us to turn to you, trusting and resting in your sure and unfailing love. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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