How to Sleep Worry Free

How to Sleep Worry Free

April 29, 2015

"But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’" Luke 18:16 (NIV)

A friend looked deep into my eyes and asked, "What do you miss about being a child?"

In the middle of playing a silly game of questions with a group, the room faded away and memories of my childhood popped into my mind like bubbles surfacing from deep waters.

Playing with my brother in our treehouse.

Fun Fridays with my favorite teacher at school.

Riding my banana-seat bike down the street with friends.

Most precious … moments snuggled between my parents while our family read together at night.

Although it sounds idyllic, it wasn’t perfect. Just like I’m an imperfect parent, my parents weren’t perfect either. But as a child I felt loved, encouraged and most importantly, safe and carefree. As I longed for the feeling of safety that blanketed my childhood, I looked at my friend and answered, "I miss having no worries."

Being an adult is fraught with pits of peril — financial shortfalls, job instability, parenting challenges, marriage conflict and the general stress of being responsible for yourself and others. For me, childhood was free of all those things. But that day, as I faced my friend’s question, adulthood felt like a heavy weight.

The next day as I sat in the quiet of early morning, God whispered a single word into my heart … trust. He gently showed me the weight of adulthood I had shouldered. He nudged me to consider the hours I’d spent awake staring into the dark ruminating, with no resolution. He refreshed the sense of deep longing I’d felt the day before when I’d expressed my desire for childhood. The good old days of no worries.

And He called me back.

Trust is the mark of a child. Of course I had little girl concerns when I was young, but why didn’t I feel the weight of worry? It was because I trusted my parents. They took the weight of responsibility to shelter me — allowing me to feel safe and worry-free.

Although not all parents do this well, protecting our children from adult problems is still part of a parent’s job description.

The funny thing is my trust was partially based on illusion. As parents, my husband and I have tried to do exactly what my parents did for me. We don’t tell our kids about adult problems because we don’t want them to worry about things they can’t fix.

It’s not that we don’t have problems or that we’re completely in control. The truth is, we’re not in control. But there’s good news for those who are faking control while lying awake at night and for those who have never felt safe.

God is a Father who is entirely trustworthy because He is truly in control.

As God’s children, we have a heavenly Father who is worthy of trust. All our obsessive worry over our responsibilities and concerns doesn’t change a thing, so let’s resolve to try something different. Let’s give up our illusion of control and rest peacefully like children in Jesus’ unfailing care.

Now, instead of letting worry consume my nighttime thoughts, I’m learning to pray childlike prayers. I lay in the dark handing over my worries one by one to my faithful Father instead of grasping them in my powerless hands. I’m still in the process of training myself to trust, but I’m sleeping well at night while the One who never slumbers carries it all.

Lord, I’ve shouldered my cares as if I’m the one in control. Help me become like a child, handing all my stresses, worries and responsibilities to You, my faithful Father. I trust You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
I Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (NIV)

Philippians 4:6-7, "Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." (MSG)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Are you looking for the perfect gift for a mom or special friend in your life? This Mother’s Day, remind her to always have faith in God and His promises, with a necklace or pair of earrings from the Proverbs 31 Ministries Faith Collection. Purchase yours today and a portion of the proceeds will help benefit organizations serving vulnerable and rescued women in the U.S. and abroad.

We all pray … some. But wouldn’t we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? If you can relate, you’ll appreciate Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado.

Visit Amy Carroll’s blog today to enter to win a unique prayer journal that will help you turn your cares to prayers.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What worries and responsibilities fill your thoughts and keep you awake at night? Write them on a list.

Reflect a moment. How has your worry changed the situations on your list?

Before bed tonight, pray through your worry list and hand each burden to God. Tell your Heavenly Father you trust Him with each one.

© 2015 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for all you do, Amy!

    • The one thing that keeps my husband, Ron Smith and I
      worrying now is not knowing what the state budget is going to do to us. We learned that cuts are going to be made to the Supportive Living program here in Illinois; however, we don’t know the extent of these cuts. We do know that we don’t want to move, as we’ve already gone through that so many times already.
      If we do end up having to get uprooted because of these budget cuts, I won’t be able to attend TBC-Temple Baptist Church Champaign, IL anymore. I my wonderful church community, especially being a part of the praise band on a monthly—sometimes twice a month—schedule if I’m asked to fill in for someone who is sick or unable to do it for whatever reason.
      My husband is trying not to worry about what could eventually happen. He is trying to simply take things one day at a time. I know that He’s also trying to be as strong as he possibly can for us, but I can tell that this is really bothering him.
      Because this is something that worrys both of us, my husband prayed for the situation before we went to bed last night! Unfortunately, I can still tell that he’s worrying about what our future may end up looking lie.
      “But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’” Luke 18:16 (NIV)
      Amen! What a wonderful verse! We need to remember that the devil can hinder the happiness that Jesus is wanting to give us. We need to allow Jesus to take care of whatever obstacles that may be trying to block us from Him.
      “Lord, I’ve shouldered my cares as if I’m the one in control. Help me become like a child, handing all my stresses, worries and responsibilities to You, my faithful Father. I trust You. In Jesus’ NamLord, I’ve shouldered my cares as if I’m the one in control. Help me become like a child, handing all my stresses, worries and responsibilities to You, my faithful Father. I trust You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”~Amy Dohn Carroll
      Incredible! What a wonderful thing to really ask Jesus to do! We should come to Him as a little kid when we may be worried about various things in and throughout our entire life. Jesus can help us overcome whatever our fears may be.
      I Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (NIV)
      Amen! What a very powerful verse on this late Wednesday morning! Nothing is better than to always trust the Lord. He wants to take our burdens away from us, so we can be in the wonderful peace of His awesome presence.
      Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (MSG)
      Incredible! What a wonderful thing to realize! We need to place Christ before anything else in our life. He doesn’t want us to worry about things that we may not be able to control whatsoever. He wants us to celebrate the good things that He has already done.

  2. Danielle says:

    I will need to reread this again! Wish I had read this while I laid awake for a couple of hours…looking forward to giving it to Him so that maybe I too can sleep.

    • I know what you mean, Sister Danielle! But, we can hold onto the Word. If sleep doesn’t come soon as we’d like, at least He was on our hearts. #sweetsleep

  3. Thank for this reminder to surrender our concerns to God. I am always more refreshed and more at peace when I do.

  4. It is 4:55AM. My worries have kept me awake. I have learned that worrying changes nothing and prayers changes everything. I pray through my worrying and trust in God. I really appreciate this devotional word for my life.
    Thank you kindly.

  5. So powerful. This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for this ministry that God uses to speak to my heart on a daily basis.

  6. The night time seems to bring out the worst of our fears. I am glad that God is there even in the dark and hears my voice. He is always in control even when we aren’t. That thought helps me rest!
    Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”
    http://versesfrommama.blogspot.com/2015/04/joy-comes-in-morning.html

  7. I worry too much, over things I have no control over. In all reality, I don’t have control over anything. That is how it is supposed to be. God has control, and he does such a better job than I ever could. This devotion is that reminder I need to put faith in my Heavenly Father, and let him take control of my worries and my to-do list. Thank you God for always taking care of my family and me. Please forgive me for ever forgetting that. In Your Name we pray, Amen.

  8. kim brooks says:

    My mom taught me to pray at night when I couldn’t sleep and I always find myself waking up 🙂 Prayer is peaceful and relaxing and something I treasure!

  9. In the last six to nine months I’ve had to really learn to trust God with with my children and then my husband. It’s been some of the most trying times and some of the most rewarding times as I’ve gone from fears to complete peace when I put my trust fully in God.

    Even now I’m still working through some issues, and your devotion was a great reminder that trust is the key. God is so faithful. Thank you for sharing this today. It was divinely scheduled.

  10. Catherine says:

    I have had many life changing things happen in my life over the past several months. I thought I was so strong, but one day I fell apart realizing I had no control over my life. Things were happening to me and my family and I could do nothing to make it better. I started to pray, and God revealed to me, I have never really had control. It is all in His hands. This realization has helped me give it all to Him. The circumstances seemed devastating and sometimes feel overwhelming, but when I remember He has it under control, I rest peacefully and do not worry.

    • Catherine, something very similar happened to me, so you are not alone. I leaned and grew so much through all of the pain and heartache…this is where God does His best work…when we are fully surrendered. In time, you will rise up from the ashes of your old life into a beautiful new creation. You see, God refines and makes us more like Jesus, and more fit for His Kingdom. My life-verse is Isaiah 61:1-3 If you have a Bible, I encourage you to read it, if not I encourage you to, if you are able), to find one that you like. I will be praying for you, my friend. May the Lord touch your heart today. Laura

  11. Thank you for this devotion today. Last evening I was crying out to Him to take my burdens – the ones I had said I was giving Him but somehow managed to reclaim…again. I am so grateful for your words today. I do truly desire that child-like trust in Him again.

  12. How good it feels to cast your cares on the Lord and to be overcome with His divine peace.

  13. Such a beautiful message, thank you!
    I can remember shortly after the birth of my first child, seeing my precious daughter laying next to me and thinking…she is totally dependent on me for even her most basic needs. My heart was stirred at that moment and I desired to have a relationship with God that reflected this . To FULLY rely on Him- to cry out to Him for every need; to give Him my smiles and coos of delight as I am held in His arms; to reach for Him and trust in His love for me!
    My heart is grateful for the unfailing love of my heavenly Father! that has promised to never leave me nor forsake me!

  14. This was just what I needed. I have been under a lot of stress and I’m refusing to let go of my “control”. Such a good reminder of how much my Jesus loves me and wants to carry those burdens for me.

  15. Thank you so much for being the vessel for these words, and sharing your experiences. I almost feel this was written just for me, but I know better. My husband and I are preparing for our youngest to leave for college in the fall and I’ve been awake at night worried about the finances, Alena going off to such a large school etc…It’s mostly the finances. We’ve never been very good at financial management, but oh how we’ve tried. Would you and even your team pray with my husband and i that Alena (who has been on the honor roll for almost all 4 years, National Honor Society, XC,Indoor & Outdoor Track 4 years & Student Government Day Rep and more) receives the scholarship money she needs to attend this college for 4 years…and live there…it’s too far away too commute. She is a sweet, kind and caring young woman who loves the Lord, so any and all prayer is appreciated. Thank you. Thank you.

  16. Erica Davis says:

    This was a piercing arrow into my anxious, overwrought heart. As my husband and I prayerfully enter into a new and exciting phase of life, I had lost all joy due to fear. I have not been able to focus on the blessings ahead for fear and dread of everything that could possibly go wrong. I cannot thank you enough for following the leading on your heart to share this message. It has re-shaped my perspective, for which I am truly grateful.

  17. Giving it to god says:

    Thank you,

  18. Thank you…I needed that!

  19. So timely and thankful for the reminder it is safe to Trust in my God and Savior. With ALL of the hats I wear Most Faithful God Help me to Trust you like a chid

  20. This really resonated. Amen!

  21. Thank you so much for this post! It touched me this morning!

  22. Amen to all the above! This is the reason I needed to focus on Trusting God for Bible reading in April. So thankful for his promises that prove we can trust him!

  23. I’m newly married (last April), and a new “mom”. I say “mom” with caution because I’m a mother to child who’s not my own. My husband has a toddler from another marriage, and we have total custody. This precious girl, whom I love so much, has been with us since last summer. Needless to say, I can get overwhelmed. I also teach, and my involvement in my job has been heightened. I know God is big enough, and strong enough to take the stress away from me, but I get so wrapped up in taking care of it, I don’t give Him the chance. God’s been calling to my heart to rest, trust in His ability, and Christ’s love. These devotionals, I feel, are God’s words to me. I just pray my mind can receive the message the way my heart has. God’s good, and faithful all the time. My prayer is to know it’s always enough. God bless, and much love.

  24. Living for Jesus. says:

    I spent years and years about worrying anything and everything.I finally got to the point it did me no good to worry. So now when things comes to me I lay them all down at Gods feet. And now I have learn not to pick them up again. As God in charge and it’s all in his hands. By doing this I now get peace that only comes from God. Thank you Sweet Jesus.

  25. As I am winding down from an incredibly busy and emotional day, I snuck a moment to read the devotion here today. This was beautiful, and just what I needed. Thank you.

  26. Thanks for this reminder of our Hope and Strength! It is so freeing to know that God’s got whatever is on our minds and heavy on our hearts. What a privilege to give Him all our concerns in prayer! I am reminded of a dear elderly lady who made it all very simple for me. She and I were talking about Jesus one day and this was her statement to me. “When anything happens or I am worried about something, I just take it to Jesus and somehow, He makes it all right.”

  27. I know for me that the same thing that I believe to be in CONTROL or in FEAR and both are just illusions. God is always in control of my life and I believe when I am in fear of something then I am NOT in FAITH! For you see the two cannot coexist together. As my FAITH in God has gotten stronger everyday the fear in my life has gotten less and less to the point that I almost never feel afraid. And coming from someone who has lived their previous 52 years totally FEAR based I am finally happy and at Peace! Thank you Father GOD!

  28. Heather Edwards says:

    I worry about my children and whether or not I have raised them well enough to make Godlike decisions. That they may live their life well and follow a high moral, good standing close to God life. I worry about debt, and how others may view my family.

    Lord help me to rely upon You and not worry, knowing the You are in control of All things! Be with my family so they may see Your guidance and follow in Your footsteps Amen!

  29. Denise says:

    This post was positively anointed! As I read, I truly felt the Holy Spirit washing over me, as the words washed the worry from my heart. This is the 3rd devotional I have read today, and theme is trust Him at all times, and be thankful at all times! I started the morning in worry knots…now I have “the peace that passeth understanding.” Thank you for being obedient to write this!

  30. Thank you for your words. They bring life to my bones, renewed joy to my heart, and perspective to my mind. I was just praying for these today! As a mom, wife and ER nurse sometimes my cares and fears just overwhelm me. Yet like a father to His children, He watches over us while we sleep and oversees as we precariously toddle through our day. I soooo forget to reach my hands out when I stumble and rest in His arms when weary. Thank you!

  31. Deserie says:

    I have a friend who’s real sick she real young she was diagnosis with cancer her name is Josie Bentiez is there a prayer I can read to her, I’m sorry I have been saved for almost a year now and I’m loving my new life if I just have a little more guideness I go to praise our father god every Thursday and Sunday plus prayer on Monday I give my whole heart to our father but I still need help in how to pray plz help

  32. Wilson nzevela says:

    Amen Grory to Lord I feell relaxed ad free Amen

  33. Thank you Amy for this devotion. I read two of your this morning and I needed both. I needed to read the one on giving. I have no problem giving and like others you mentioned it is part of my makeup, but I had taken the Y out of my JOY. Also, it shed light on the fact that others take advantage of me…when I don’t even realize it. Then, the one about worry…staying awake at night..oh my! I really need this. Thank you. This morning I have “cast ALL my cares on HIM”. He is a wonderful, loving, and caring God. Thank you again.

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