Have you ever been unable to sleep? With all the talk of ‘Brexit’ over the last two-and-a-half years, and the conflicting and confusing messages coming from our politicians, I do wonder how much sleep they get (and those of the general population who take all matters political seriously)!

Yes, I know it was well known that the late former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, used to get by with just a few (possibly just 4) hours sleep every night, but I’m thinking more in terms of us normal folk! For me personally, I used to work regular nights for some 20 years in my previous life as an electrical engineer with Hawker Siddeley, and I could sleep quite easily for 8 hours during the daylight hours. I’ve never had a problem sleeping!

But it is maddening, isn’t it, when you toss and turn and just can’t manage to drop off. It seems sometimes that we’ll never sleep again, but we all do eventually, because we can’t live without sleep!

I remember a few years ago when a Radio Disc Jockey kept himself awake for eight days as part of a charity fund-raising stunt. During the week, he slowly disintegrated mentally, experiencing hallucinations and becoming totally disorientated. He did make it to the end of the eight days, but suffered months of chronic depression as a result.

There are some things that we just can’t do without. Our bodies are made for breathing air, eating food and taking exercise. If you deprive yourself, you’re in big trouble. The experts say that more than ten days without any sleep results in madness.

The Bible claims that we were also designed to live in friendship with God. If your life is deprived of his presence and power, there won’t be any dramatic effects straight away, but bit-by-bit you will become more and more disorientated from reality, less able to function effectively and live life to the full.

People in God’s light - followers of Christ’s teaching - “taste heaven’s gift and receive their share of the Holy Spirit, knowing from experience that God’s word is good and having felt the powers.” (Hebrews 6:4&5)

There are some things you just can’t do without - but the word ‘Brexit’ is one I’m looking forward to putting to the back of my mind, sometime soon!

Revd Ron Wilson, a retired URC minister based in Barrow and Dalton.