One-a-Day...for the Heart: Wide Awake
It’s 3 a.m. and you’re wide awake. If I fall back to sleep by 3:30, I’ll get 7.5 hours of sleep. The cuckoo clock chimes 4 a.m. Okay, so I’ll still get 7 hours of sleep. Pillow over the head now to silence the 5 a.m. cuckoo, the 6 a.m. cuckoo, 7 a.m., and it’s time to rise and shine. So it goes—another night of troubled sleep.
I like to think that David, in Psalm 4:8 (NLT), was proclaiming to himself and any enemies within earshot that I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety!! Kind of like whistling past the graveyard, he said this after fleeing from his son, Absalom, who was attempting to kill him, with the help of the entire army of Israel—an overwhelmingly superior fighting force! That’s probably why David made this comment, O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, ‘God will never rescue him!’ (Psalm 3:1-2 NLT). A couple verses later, he declared, I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. (Psalm 3:5-6 NLT).
Ten-thousand enemies on every side? Now THAT’S cause for insomnia! And yet David, who had a heart after God and fully trusted Him, was really declaring, Though I am alone, yet I am not alone, for God is with me; though I have no guards to attend me, the Lord alone is sufficient to protect me; he can do it himself when all other defenses fail. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary). Unless we are soldiers on a battlefield, it’s unlikely any of us have ten-thousand enemies on every side as we lay our head on the pillow at night. But we do have the cares and frustrations and problems of daily life that can disturb our sleep. Quite frankly, demonic spirits can torment us at night, too, but in a word of rebuke, we can dismiss them.
While we sleep, the Lord is watching over us. He neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:1). Furthermore, Exodus 14:14 says The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. Normally, most of us are silent seven to ten hours every night (unless we snore, but I don’t think that counts). So we can rest in the fact that whatever difficulty we are facing can safely be placed in the hands of the Lord to address while we keep silent.
Countless times when I am awakened by a troubling thought or fear, I have fallen right back to sleep by proclaiming out loud, as David did, I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. The Lord’s got the night-watch covered. No worries, my friend. Sleep tight tonight.