Jannah Doesn’t Want to Sleep

by: Nancy E. Walker-Guye

Jannah and Daddy lived together in a cozy, little apartment. One night after supper, Daddy said.

“You look tired, Jannah. Are you catching a cold?”

“I’m fine,” Jannah told Daddy. But she honestly did feel tired, and she knew the reason she

was tired. A still, small Voice (the Holy Spirit) whispered in Jannah’s ear, telling her to tell her

daddy what she was doing. But Jannah kept quiet.

“All right.” Daddy kissed her forehead. “Good night, sweetie. Sleep well.”

“Good night, Daddy.”

Daddy switched off the light and left Jannah’s room. Jannah stared into the darkness. She

listened to Daddy shower, brush his teeth, and go to bed. Soon he was snoring. He was always

tired from working so hard—at work and at home—so he always went to bed right after her.

Jannah tried not to yawn. Sleep was boring. Staying awake was fun. She took a flashlight and

a book out of her bedside table drawer and read until she fell asleep.

The next day at Sabbath School, Mr. Adams pointed to some pictures on the bulletin board.

“Do you remember what these pictures mean, Jannah?” he asked.

Jannah looked at the pictures of healthy food and children playing and nodded. “They’re about

how to live healthy lives—the way Jesus wants us to.”

Mr. Adams smiled. “Exactly!”

Jannah frowned when she looked at the picture of a boy asleep in bed. It reminded her that

children need enough sleep to be healthy.

The next morning, Daddy shook Jannah awake. She groaned. “It’s too early to get up.”

Daddy chuckled. “No it’s not, silly. You always get up at this time. What’s this?” Daddy asked.

Jannah opened her eyes. Daddy was holding her flashlight. He picked up her book from beside

her pillow. “And this?” Daddy frowned at her.

The still, small Voice told Jannah she should tell the truth.

“Have you been staying up late reading? Is that why you’re so tired?” Daddy asked.

Jannah nodded. “I’m sorry, Daddy,” she said. I’m sorry, Jesus, she prayed silently.

“Am I going to have to stay up every night to make sure you go to sleep?” Daddy asked.

Jannah would feel awful if Daddy lost sleep because of her. “No Daddy,” she said. “I’ll stop

staying awake to read. I promise.”

“I’m glad,” Daddy said. “Now hurry up and get dressed.”

Although she was terribly sleepy, Jannah felt much happier now that she had told Daddy the

truth. The still, small Voice was telling her that she had made Jesus happy too.

That night, after supper, Daddy told her it was bedtime—a half hour earlier than usual! Jannah

wondered why, but she obeyed and got ready for bed.

When she was in bed, Daddy sat down beside her. He was holding a book that she had never

seen before. “Where did you get that?” she asked.

Daddy smiled. “I borrowed it at the library, so we could read it together before we sleep.”

Seeing him smile after all his worried frowns made Jannah happy. “What a fun idea!” she said.

She curled up in bed and listened to Daddy read. His deep, gentle voice made her feel sleepy.

When Daddy had finished the story, she could hardly keep her eyes open. “Good night

sleepyhead,” he said as he kissed the top of her head.

“Night,” Jannah mumbled. She didn’t even hear Daddy close her bedroom door. She was

already fast asleep.