To me, the words peace and sleep go together. In my lifetime, I've had my share of sleepless nights, even restless nights. Sometimes it was due to a physical condition. Other times it was due to stress of some kind. One scary night I discovered a helpful solution.
It was after midnight when I heard angry voices in the street outside my bedroom window. My husband had taken a part-time job with a custodial service, and it was my first time to be home alone until early morning.
We were living in a church parsonage in Phoenix, Arizona. There was a driveway between the house and the church that led to a parking lot in back. This made the house feel more public than private to me.
I got up carefully and pulled the curtains back to peek out the window. The shouting continued, then the car door opened and a woman was pushed out. As the car sped off, she gained her balance. Then she started walking in the same direction as the car.
What's Happening Out There?
I found this unsettling as an observer. In our family, you might argue but never shout, and physical abuse was not in any way an issue. Having never had children I was used to being alone at night when my husband was busy with ministry. But having him gone on an all-night job was different from seeing him walk in the door at nine-thirty or ten o'clock after a church event.
When he worked, I would stay up as late as I could, then go to bed hoping to fall asleep. But sleep eluded me. It was nice to have a streetlight outside, but still I was very uneasy alone.
Psalm 23 was a favorite chapter in the Bible, but I didn't feel it was exactly what I needed. I wondered if I could find a scripture that applied specifically to sleep.
I Found a "Keeper!
My Bible's small concordance did not list many scriptures, but I found exactly what I needed in Psalm 4:8 (KJV): "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety." Later I found it just as comforting in more modern translations.
|Psalm 4:8 (NIV)In peace I will lie down and sleep,|
for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.
I believed He would keep His word. My faith was based on an ancient scripture that says God will not let His word "return empty." He will make sure it achieves its intended purpose (Isaiah 55:11).
Over the years, there have been other times and places I have needed to quote that scripture to get a good night's rest. I'm happy to report that I have shared this verse many times, and I'm not the only one who has applied it by faith and found it true.
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