I’ve been having trouble falling asleep for a while. I keep quoting the last verse in Psalm 4 over and over until I finally fall asleep. A couple days ago, I read all of Psalm 4 and wondered the circumstances that led David to write it. He wrote in the second verse, “How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?” As the king of Israel, I can see why those questions would keep him up at night. I have other questions disrupting my sleep, but I’m incredibly thankful to know that God is my source of peace and safety. Peace and safety from the Lord transcend lying down in the comfort of your own bed with your favorite pillow. With God as our king and the Lord as our shepherd have eternal security—no matter our circumstances.
My struggle to drift into slumber lately isn’t because I’m not snuggled into my comfy bed, it’s because I can’t help but think of—and pray for—those who aren’t. My mind is consumed by thoughts of millions of Ukrainian refuges who are doing their best to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings wondering if their homes will still be standing when they return—if they ever do return. I think of the Ukrainian women and children who held on to their husbands and fathers before they had to let go and leave them behind to face an advancing army. I think of those men, taking up arms to defend their homeland, and those who spend the night in makeshift bomb shelters while listening to explosions. But as all these thoughts disquiet me and interfere with my sleep more than a pot of coffee before bedtime, I remember the report of missionaries in the area that many are being saved—as in receiving the gift of salvation from God through his Son, Jesus Christ. The peace and safety that comes with knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior transcend the peace and safety this world may give us. I thank God I’m not living in a war zone—or even a rough neighborhood. I also thank God for the peace and safety he has promised to his children who do live in those dangerous places. In John 16:33 Jesus said, ““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Yes and amen! Jesus has overcome the world. Hallelujah.
Have you visited my website lately? The “Podcast” tab in the main navigation bar now not only takes you to this podcast, where you can see all the images that I create each week with the declarations on them, but it also provides a link to my new video podcast called, “Find Joy.” The first 10 episodes walk you through my book, Longing to Belong. I’ve already posted five episodes, so we are halfway through, but you can join in at the beginning at any time. Learn more on my website at shawnamariebryant.com.
This week’s scripture: Psalm 4:1, 8