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If I Could Only Sleep

Notes & Transcripts

I recently read a moving story that David Jeremiah wrote about the founder of World Vision, the international Christian relief agency. Bob Pierce had advanced leukemia, but he went to visit a colleague in Indonesia before he died. As they were walking through a small village, they came upon a young girl lying on a bamboo mat next to a river. She was dying of cancer and had only a short time to live.

Bob was indignant. He demanded to know why she wasn’t in a clinic. But his friend explained that she was from the jungle and wished to spend her last days next to the river, where it was cool and familiar.

As Bob gazed at her, he felt such compassion that he got down on his knees in the mud, took her hand, and began stroking it. Although she didn’t understand him, he prayed for her. Afterward she looked up and said something. "What did she say?" Bob asked his friend.

His friend relied, "She said, ’If I could only sleep again, if I could only sleep again.’" It seemed that her pain was too great to allow her the relief of rest.

Bob began to weep. Then he reached into his pocket and took out his own sleeping pills, the ones his doctor had given him because the pain from his leukemia was too great for him to sleep at night.

He handed the bottle to his friend. :You make sure this young lady gets a good night’s sleep," he said, "as long as these pills last."

Bob was ten days away from where he could get his prescription refilled. That meant ten painful and restless nights. That day his servanthood cost him greatly. But even in the midst of his suffering, God had infused a supernatural sense of satisfaction that he had done the right thing.


Source: God’s Outrageous Claims, 95 by Lee Strobel,

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