John Stott’s HHH, Sleep and the Christian

The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog references something I have been reading lately. The post is meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book, magazine article or blog post I have or am reading.

I woke up this morning very refreshed. Actually, I am a very good sleeper – always have been. But some mornings, I will wake and just feel as if my sleeping cycles worked marvelously. This morning was one of those moments.

It is interesting to me of the timing of such a night’s sleep, because the idea of sleep (biblically) has been on my mind the last week or so.

I have been reading a pamphlet on the life of John Stott entitled John Stott: Pastor, Leader and Friend. And if you have ever read a biography on Stott’s life, you know he was committed to what he called the HHH (the horizontal half-hour). It was what Stott referred to as his sacred, daily nap time. Later in life it evolved into the HH (horizontal hour). Stott didn’t do this because of laziness or a sleep disorder. He knew something that Jesus also knew: an active life of ministry required a regular time of resting. And by having a regular time of resting, one is equipped to be more productive in serving the Lord.

Believe it or not, there are some very helpful resources available today on the biblical discipline of sleep.

  • John MacArthur preached a sermon at Together for the Gospel 2010 called “The Theology of Sleep.”
  • One of the books listed on my “Most Wanted Book List” is called And So to Bed: A Biblical View of Sleep by Adrian Reynolds
  • C.J. Mahaney also has a sermon worth hearing entitled “A Biblical Understanding of Sleep.”

The Christian who works diligently and faithfully ought to be able to put his head down on his pillow at night free of anxiety and stress, because it is God who works! God is the one who converts; God is the one who draws; God is the one who speaks.

While God never sleeps (Ps 121:4), sleep is a reminder to us that we are not God or like Him. We require sleep; He does not.

Application – get a good night’s rest tonight and enjoy a grace that God provides, expects and desires of all of us!


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