A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”
What a singular expression of faith! The Psalmist could lie down and sleep because his heart was at peace. He was not full of fears and worries about the coming day because He trusted that His Lord would keep him. Who else but the Lord could promise to carry the burden of his sins, to put His angels in charge, to make everything work out?
When we read this beautiful text we are almost envious of the Psalmist for being able to sleep. We realize that God is essential in our lives and we, too, have heard again and again the promises of His gracious care. Yet we are fearful.
Do you remember the time that Jesus was asleep in the middle of a storm at sea? The storm was so severe that the disciples were afraid for their lives. In desperation, they woke the Lord up and He stilled the stormy waters. One could reasonably have expected, in a situation like this, that the Savior would have said, “It is a good thing that you woke me up.” It comes almost as shock, however, when we hear the real words of our Savior: “What has happened to your faith?” Our Lord wanted them to know that there was no situation in which He would not care for them, just as He would have us know that there is no situation in which He will not care for us.
Yet fearful creatures that we are, we find it hard not to worry. Our sinful inner nature constantly deceives us into believing that we must control our own lives. It was that way with the disciples. The situation at sea was so bad that they were overcome with fear and worry. Please note, however, that their Savior did not despise them. He recognized their weakness and solved their problem. It was only after the storm was gone that He encouraged them to a stronger faith.
Our Lord knows our frailty. He knows what weak and fearful creatures we are. That is why He encourages us in page after page of the Bible: “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Your heavenly Father will take care of your needs. Cast all your care upon Him. Commit your way unto the Lord.”
How wonderfully the Psalmist sums it all up in the 127th Psalm, where he wrote: “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He giveth His beloved sleep.” What a wonderful gift for you and me, His beloved!