You know those night you just can’t settle? Your mind is cluttered up with stuff, real and imagined? The 3am monsters create events that never happened and never will?
A wonderful, wise lady once told me how she handles these times: “I say to God ‘what have you got to say to me?’ and I lie in the dark, with no daytime distractions, and listen.
What a wonderful, positive way to turn things around – fear into joy and dread into hope. I now often pray this same prayer, with mixed results. Sometimes I feel peace and drift back off to sleep, sometimes I work through a worry, but with God rather than the night-ghouls in my head. Occasionally, I have to get up, make a cup of tea, and wait a while.
Last night was a “make a cup of tea” episode. It was 5 am when I gave up on sleep (and that’s early for me!). I sat by the patio and listened to the birds in the garden, and opened my Bible to work through my daily reading schedule.
Psalm 63 was what I read – David praying to God while in the desert, running from his enemies following a coup in Jerusalem.
One verse stood out:
“On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.”
Wow! We’re in good company – me, my mentor-lady, and you (if you also do this). David cried out to God at night too. he goes onto say:
“Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.”
Next time you find yourself staring at the dark walls, beating off a riot of worries, thoughts, regrets or fear, turn to God. Ask him “what have you got to say to me?” or pray – a set prayer, song or conversation. Or speak the words of this Psalm.
Sleep well x