It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night . . . for God gives rest to his loved ones (Psalm 127:2).

Recent research concluded that Americans are among the world’s worst when it comes to sleep deprivation. The published statistics reveal: The US (along with France and Taiwan) ranks among the top three most sleep-deprived nations in the world. Indians (54 percent), Americans (49 percent), and Singaporeans (43 percent) reported not getting enough rest due to being too worried or stressed out. Most sleep-deprived Americans (66 percent), however, can’t sleep because they’re anxious about finances and paying their bills.

There are many reasons sleeplessness occurs, but I wonder if there’s a connection between excluding God from our lives and the onset of anxiety and the lack of rest. The writer of Psalm 127:1-5 seems to think so. The psalm addresses three areas of human activity that can be connected to anxiety—building houses, watching cities, and working long hours to provide for family (Psalm 127:1-2). The author affirms that it’s foolish and frustrating to attempt to do any of these things without the Lord and His blessing, for “God gives rest to his loved ones” (Psalm 127:2).

All builders who build homes, watchmen who guard cities, and people who work long hours to provide for their families, independent of God, will find anxiety and restlessness. But God gives His people rest as they trust in Him and include Him in all their plans.

Let’s trust God, who is ultimately the source of any successful venture in life. When we’re dependent on Him and have a settled confidence in His power and provision for all our human activities, we’ll find sweet sleep without anxiety and fear. “Unless the LORD” leads the way, we’re lost (Psalm 127:1). He alone can provide the peaceful rest we need (Psalm 127:2).

This passage first appeared on

Sweet Sleep