Have you ever stayed up late? Losing sleep may be fun at a slumber party, but it would be a bad idea to stay awake every night. Your body needs a good night’s sleep to stay healthy. It’s the way God made you.
Most people sleep about a third of each day. By the age of 12, you will have spent around four years of your life asleep. When we sleep, our bodies rest. But our minds are often active. Scientists who study sleep say people may dream several times each night. In fact, we may have as many as 2,000 dreams per year. No one really knows why we dream, but the deep sleep that goes with dreaming seems to be important. People who don’t get this kind of sleep grow tired and sick.
Do animals dream? Most animals sleep, though their snoozing habits are often very different from ours. Brown bats sleep nearly 20 hours per day, while giraffes sleep less than two hours per day.
Machines that show brain activity can reveal how much animals think while they’re asleep. As it turns out, some animals do seem to dream. What do you suppose goes on in a dog’s dream? How about an elephant’s dream? It would be fun to know.
Dreams can be strange. When we sleep, it’s often hard to tell what’s real and what’s imagined. The Bible tells a story about a girl named Rhoda who may have wondered whether she was dreaming. It was nighttime, and there was a knock at the door. Rhoda recognized the voice. It was Peter! Rhoda was surprised. Peter had been in jail for preaching the gospel. In fact, King Herod planned to kill Peter the next day.
Rhoda was so excited she forgot to open the door. A group of adults was gathered at the house praying. Rhoda ran and told them Peter was at the door. They didn’t believe her. They thought she was a silly girl.
But Rhoda wasn’t silly. She wasn’t dreaming either. During the night, God had sent an angel to rescue Peter from prison. Peter really was at the door, just as Rhoda had said.
“But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished” (Acts 12:16, NIV).
God used a young girl to tell others the good news of what He had done. God wants to use you to share the good news of Jesus with those around you.
— Christina Quick
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