Funny, we seldom think that a great apostle like Paul ever suffered from insomnia, but he did. He couldn't sleep sometimes because of acute deprivations, like hunger, cold, and exposure.
Funny, we seldom think that a great apostle like Paul ever suffered from insomnia, but he did. He couldn't sleep sometimes because of acute deprivations, like hunger, cold, and exposure . . . and sometimes because of his concern for the many ministries to which he had given himself. "Daily pressure," he calls it. Read his own words:
I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:27–28)
Now that's being under pressure.
Paul even mentioned the disillusioning times of mistreatment and imprisonment (see 11:26). There certainly must have been times he did not know where to turn—or to whom. Doubt and questions might well have haunted him with maddening regularity.
Here was one of those great men, "too good for this world," being pushed around, threatened, and living on the raw edge of constant danger. If you imagine yourself in those many situations and toss in several imprisonments to boot—you can start to feel beaten down and defeated. Your mind plays tricks on you. You wonder where God is, and you occasionally even doubt God. You get disoriented, "mixed up" inside. And on top of all that is the one most common experience all who have been in prison admit—profound loneliness.
Mix all that together . . . and you've got the picture.