I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.
Psalm 3:5 (NRSVCE)
Ironic, that I found myself lying awake in the watches of the night. I finally decided to get up. I came to my office and poured out my heart in my morning pages. In the midst of my writing, which typically starts out with me pouring out my feelings all over the page and ends up as a written prayer, I asked God for some encouragement.
Then I opened to today’s chapter.
King David is on the run. Again. For some twenty-years after being anointed Israel’s next King and God’s man for the job, David lived on the lam with a price on his head. Constantly hunted by King Saul and his forces, David lived in a cave in the wilderness and was surrounded by people who wanted him dead.
It’s happening again. This time it’s David’s own son who has conspired against him. Prince Absalom has run a successful smear campaign against his father. He’s politically maneuvered himself into position and pulled the trigger on a coup d’éta. David flees the city. His approval numbers are in the tank. Political momentum is against him. His own son is hot in pursuit and hell-bent on patricide. David is back in the wilderness. He’s back on the run. He’s out numbered, out manned, and the whole world seems to have risen up against him.
So, he writes a song. Today’s psalm.
In the midst of his lyrics, David says he’s getting a good night’s sleep. The enemies surrounding him, his son’s rebellion, and the threats against him are not stealing his winks. “for the Lord sustains me,” he sings. He ends the song by proclaiming his trust in God’s deliverance.
Of course, he’d been here before. As a young man he’d learned in the wilderness that he could trust in God to deliver him from his enemies. Experience is a great spiritual teacher.
In the quiet this morning, David’s example has me giving a backward glance at the road I’ve already traveled in life. I’ve been in, and through, my own personal wilderness before.
Was God faithful? Yes.
Did I make it through some dark stretches? Yes.
Did they teach me anything? Yes.
Were they ultimately a part of a larger plan that only came into focus after I was able to look back and see them with the clarity of hindsight?Yes.
Do I have any reason to believe that the circumstances stealing my sleep are any different than what I’ve been through before?
No. No, they aren’t.
“Deliverance belongs to the Lord.”
If I’m not sleeping well, then I guess I’ve got some faith-building to do.
Thanks for the encouragement, Lord.
I hope you slept well, my friend. Thanks for reading.