Ecclesiastes 5:12 – “The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.”
I was able to do one of my most favorite things this morning – turn off my alarm. Tomorrow is Saturday – the one day a week that I can sleep in. And for that, no alarm. Sleep until I wake up. Love it!
As a whole, we are sleep deprived. Modern lighting has caused up to stay up way past when God intended for us to be asleep. We stay up too late and get up too early, all thanks to modern conveniences. But I will say this – I am thankful for the modern convenience of a dishwasher and washer/dryer!
Why do I treasure my Saturday morning sleeping in so much? Work. Work. Work. All week long it is run here, run there, pick this person up, get this accomplished, remember to do that, be up early for this and stay up late for that. Wears me out just thinking about it. But you know what? I’m truly thankful for my busyness. Me being busy means that my family is healthy and active. It means that I have a job that pays me and a vehicle to safely transport me. It means that God has given me strength and ability to provide for my family. Busyness is good…most of the time.
But there is another part of this verse – the part speaking of abundance. Now, I feel abundantly blessed indeed, but what is this talking about? What does this mean – “the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep”?
Ok, here’s my take on it – there are some people who do not have to labor for what they get. They may have lots of money or not, but they don’t work for what they have. Being in this position provides no sense of accomplishment or satisfaction. Just because you have what you need to get by doesn’t mean you feel good about it. We all need that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction to encourage peace. There is a deep stirring of the heart when you know deep down that everything is being handed to you. There has to be. Why else would God Himself encourage us to work? He knows that we need to work for what we have. He put that desire in us!
And with hard work comes the need for restful sleep. It is the sleep that comes with knowing that you have done your best today. It is the sleep that comes with knowing that you have let God lead you and guide you and that you have done your best for those around you. That’s what God has placed in our heart and that is what gives us a peaceful night of rest.
So today, work. Work hard. Be diligent. Be devoted. Do your best. And then tonight, when your head hits the pillow, rest. Lay your burdens down before laying your head down and be at an even greater place of peace. Work needs rest. Don’t forget to do it.