I am regularly amazed at the number of mattress stores around America. I’m even more blown away by how much money Americans will spend on a better mattress. When did the “mattress industry” become such a big money maker? Why are we in need of such expensive mattresses that an entire industry is devoted to them? What’s preventing us from getting a good night sleep?
A guaranteed good night’s sleep
Perhaps the problem does not lie inside the mattress- perhaps the problem lies inside the one sleeping on the mattress. Maybe there’s something inside us that’s preventing us from getting a good night’s sleep. No matter how much money you spend on the most expensive mattress it won’t make your conscience a soft bed.
You’ve heard the phrase, “a clean conscience is a soft bed”? The problem may not be the mattress. The problem may be the one sleeping on the mattress. If your heart is not right, no mattress will give you a good night sleep. If your soul is troubled no amount of money can buy a good night sleep.
Ecclesiastes 5:8 describes how to get a good night’s sleep. It describes hard work as the essential ingredient to good sleep. It is clear he’s not suggesting working to exhaustion. This is a reference to an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage. The rest of the verse goes on to say, that people with great possessions often don’t sleep well. They don’t sleep well because their heart is heavy over the burden of too much stuff.
A refreshed soul
Ecclesiastes 5:13 describes what causes your soul to be restless. “Hoarding riches harms the saver” is the way this verse refers to a restless soul. In other words- if you want a peaceful night’s sleep, if you want a refreshed soul- stop trying to get more stuff. In fact, give away some of your possessions so that they don’t start to take possession of you!
The next statement in Ecclesiastes is pretty obvious- we came into this world with nothing and we will leave this world with nothing. It’s clear that the author of this book wants to remind us everything you own is temporary. In fact, you don’t own it at all. It belongs to God Almighty. You are just a manager of the gifts he’s given you.
I think it’s refreshing to the soul to give away some of your possessions. It prevents your heart from being captured by stuff. When you realize that “your stuff” really isn’t your stuff it’s a lot easier to give some of it away.
A new vigor for life
You have a lot more energy when you wake up after a good night’s sleep. You are much more prepared to take on the challenges of the day when you’ve slept well the night prior. Maybe that’s what the writer of Ecclesiastes is getting at about a good night sleep. Maybe what he’s suggesting is go to bed with a clean soul tonight and tomorrow you’ll find a renewed vigor for life. Maybe he’s implying that if you get things right between you and Jesus tonight – tomorrow you will find the energy to face life’s challenges. Then you will be able to say- “In peace I lie down to sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8