But no! the worrier has another method. He thinks the same thoughts over and over again, without the slightest attempt to get anywhere. He has thrashed them out before, so often that he can tell exactly what each thought will lead to. His ideas go around in a circle like the horse tied to the wheel. He is on a treadmill ever ascending, tramping, up, up, up and up, and still up, but the wheel falls down each time as far as he steps up, and after hours and hours of unceasing, wracking, distressful mental labor, he has done absolutely nothing, has not progressed one inch, is still in the clutch of the same vicious treadmill. Brain weary, nerve weary, is there any wonder that he rolls and tosses, throws over his pillow, kicks off the clothes, groans, almost cries aloud in his agony of longing for rest. Poor victim of worry and sleeplessness, how I long to help you get rid of your evil habit and save others from falling into it. For both worry and sleeplessness are habits, easily gained, and once gained very hard to get rid of, yet both unnecessary, needless, and foolish. The worry that produces sleeplessness is merciless; so merciless and relentless that no fierce torture of a Black-hander can be described that is worse in its long continuing and evil results. Lives are wrecked, brains shattered, happiness destroyed by this monstrous evil, and many a man and woman fastens it upon himself, herself, through indulging in anxious thought, or by yielding to that equal devil-dragon of self-pity.
David the psalmist graphically tells of his own case:
I am weary with my groaning;
Every night make I my bed to swim;
I water my couch with my tears,
Mine eye wasteth away because of grief. Ps. VI. 6:7.
At another time he cries
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken
Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words
of my groaning?
Oh my God, I cry in the day time, but thou answereth not;
And in the night season, I am not silent. Ps. XXII. 1:2.
Yet God heard him not until his groaning and self-pity were cast aside, until he rested in God, trusted in Him. Then came rest, as he graphically expresses it:
I laid me down and slept;
I awaked; for Jehovah sustaineth me. Ps. III. 5.
In peace will I both lay me down and sleep:
For thou, Jehovah, alone maketh me dwell in safety. Ps. IV. 8.
I will bless Jehovah, who hath given me
Yea, my heart instructeth me in the night seasons. Ps. XVI. 7.
See the result of this confidence in God.
I have set Jehovah always before me:
Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth:
My flesh also shall dwell in safety. Ps. XVI. 8:9.
And where the heart is glad, and one rejoiceth in the sense of peace and safety, sweet sleep lays its soothing hand upon the work-worn brain and body, tired with the labors of the day, and brings rest, repose, recuperation.