In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe. Psalm 4:8 NLT
Have you ever lain through the small hours of the night, unable to sleep? I have, many times. The mind switches on and all my anxieties are heightened, causing me to experience stress. I can’t find answers for this stream of anxieties which swamps me, although that doesn’t stop me trying. The anxieties relate to my need to find solutions. These anxieties can be financial, work deadlines, relationship difficulties, health worries – the field is infinite. What’s more, the greater my level of anxiety, the less able am I to focus on God.
The critical fact is that I cannot resolve my own problems. Yes, I need to be active not passive, but my life is in fact in God’s hands. I pray daily: “Thy kingdom come and thy will be done.” Why is it I lack confidence in my experience of God’s provision?
I can only be safe to the degree to which I have established myself in God. The measure of that is in the confident way I live my life when things go wrong. It’s interesting that when anxious I cannot sleep, yet the antithesis presented by the psalmist is in having sufficient confidence in God that he can lie down and sleep.
Lying down is an expression of trust. It is a vulnerable, non-defensive stance. It is what I can do having completed my work and seeking rest. It’s a metaphor for how we are to live in God, resting in God’s promise of provision, even when that provision looks sparse. So at the close of the day, it’s worth remembering that whatever the obstacles tomorrow presents, God has brought us to the close of today and we can entrust our tomorrow to him.
How confident do you feel about God’s care for you? What anxieties threaten your peace?
Lord, I am not in control and sleep is a gift to me to remind me that when I sleep you remain sovereign.