Gospel Soundcheck

WesleySleepProgramedited.jpgSome time ago, I told you about Billy Wilkins’ biblically-based sleep program, and I used the opportunity to sound off about the whole industry of bible-based products.
At the time, I was in a snarky mood, which isn’t unusual, but as regular readers of this blog know, I’m also very fair, so I gave him the chance to respond and say anything he wanted in a guest blog post. He was also kind enough to send me a sample of the sleep program so I could try it myself, and as he said, make his dreams come true by retracting my snarky comments. Billy was a really good sport about the whole thing,
Well, once the snarky post is up, it’s up, but Billy and I have had some wonderful chats since. He joked once that he’s an educator and so he knows how to put people to sleep, and after checking out his product, I can tell you he’s right. But in a good way.

One of the things that puts me on my soapbox are Christian products that make it too easy for Christians to rely on someone else doing the dirty work – researching, reading the Bible, studying what God has to say – which is what prompted my snarky comments, but this product definitely does not fall into that category. In fact, the whole premise of the program is to help the listener enter into a relationship with God so that they can understand what the Bible says about sleep and rest.
It’s a simple program: one CD with some narrative and a 56-page book that helps prepare you for sleep and also talks about sin, forgiveness and grace. You don’t have to read those parts every day, but much of it is helpful if you consider it regularly. Wilkins shares he own experiences, which I’m sure most of us can relate to:

“I didn’t want to go through the natural process of relaxing and falling asleep. I wanted to just ‘zonk out’ as quickly as possible. I didn’t want to contemplate my endless list of things to do. I didn’t want to worry about praying for people who needed prayer. I didn’t want to deal with confessing my sins to God. I didn’t want to deal with thinking about those who had caused me pain.”

Except, as Wilkins shows in the book, those are some of the very things that keep us from getting rest. And relying on medications often just delays our confronting those issues; we take a pill, fall asleep, and then struggle with the side effects all day, as well as the constant turmoil of issues left unresolved. It’s an endless cycle.
But there’s no heavy preaching here. Just God’s word presented clearly and simply, as well as music to help you enter into a restful sleep.
I typically don’t have any problem going to sleep – at least not since a few years ago when I did my own Bible study about God, rest, and sleep to help with my own anxiety attacks. But recently, I had one of those days where I just couldn’t clear my head enough to fall asleep so I pulled out The Wesley Sleep Program. I’m not going to lie. At the time, I didn’t read the whole book or even listen to the talking tracks on the CD. Instead, I went right to the music.
My first thought was that it was kind of distracting, that the sound of waves reminded me of a trip to the ocean, which started my mind wandering, but the next thing I knew? It was morning. Literally, I fell asleep and didn’t dream, didn’t toss and turn, and don’t even remember falling sleep.
All of which is to say that Billy Wilkins did a great job of putting together a product that teaches you how to rely on God for rest. It doesn’t do the work for you, but it does help you get started. And it’s a great product to give to someone who isn’t a Christian who might be open to hearing the gospel in a way that might give them some literal relief from insomnia.
You can learn more about The Wesley Sleep Program and its creator Billy Wilkins on his website.
Snark Alert: Former Third Day Member Develops Biblical Sleep Program
Billy Wilkins Responds to My Snarky Post About Biblically Based Sleep Program

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