But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I do love sleep! Probably too much. But then who doesn’t? Nothing is better after a busy day than falling fast asleep like a log! Even better if you know you don’t have to rush out of bed the next day. Sleep is a beautiful thing that God created.
Sleep doesn’t always feel beautiful though.
Sleep can become an escape. A way to avoid dealing with real issues. You convince yourself that there is less to stress about or be anxious about when you’re asleep.
Or sleep can become a battle. Lying awake staring at the ceiling with your mind racing. Heart beating way too fast, thinking about all the things that need to be done or haven’t been done or are being prevented from being done.
I’ve experienced both those feelings in my life. Too often. Which is why I love this Psalm because it’s the kind of Psalm we all need to read just before we try to sleep.
Because if you are feeling anxious over events beyond your control – He is your shield, He surrounds you and protects you!
If you are feeling sad, maybe grieving or broken hearted – He will lift your head high. His glory (His grace and peaceful presence) will shine on you.
If you are feeling lost, in need of help or answers – He hears our cry and will respond. He is not at a distance, He is close.
And when we do come to lie down and sleep – we can lie down knowing that we can get up again the next day because we are not sustained by how good a nights sleep we got, we are sustained by His great and mighty hands.
So tonight – when you go to sleep – remember these words and sleep well. Sleep better than you’ve ever slept and then wake to fulfil all that He has planned for you tomorrow.
Written by Chris Denham, Hope City Leeds.