Psalm 4:8 — In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Sometimes it hits at 3am in the morning. Thoughts in my subconscious that send me tossing and turning. I go from anger to anxiety to worry depending on what my dreams are about. Suddenly I find myself awake, thinking about all sorts of dark things. And I can’t fall back asleep.

Sometimes these thoughts chase me right at bedtime. My mind is replaying so many of the heavy events of the day — the conversations, the troubles, the threats, the sins. Even as I lay myself down to sleep, my heart and mind are rebelling against the thought of relaxing into a restful slumber. They rather remain tense and enslaved to those dark things.

Years ago, a dear friend of mine who was going through a hard time in life shared this verse with me. She said it was her mother’s favorite verse and hers too. Why? Because it gave her something to remember and repeat to herself in those dark moments at night. Instead of counting sheep, she fixed her thoughts on Jesus her Shepherd. She remembered that she rested in his care. She heard her Shepherd’s promise that she was safe with Him. These thoughts and these thoughts alone could soothe her heart and mind. Gazing upon her Lord alone could chase away those dark things. Jesus’ promise led her to cast her anxieties upon Him. She knew He cared for her. This helped her many nights lie down and sleep in peace.

I don’t always know what troubles you, but I know you are troubled. I know this because Jesus said it would be so. Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble,” but he added, “Take heart, I have overcome the world.”

Whether you are waking or sleeping, when the dark things draw near, may Jesus draw your attention to himself and remind you that you dwell safely in his care. May your heart and mind fixed on Jesus draw from Jesus the peace which this world cannot give.

Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer

HT: Photo Credit


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