You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
9 Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
What keeps you up at night? Is it your anxiety about job expectations? Is it concern for your grown children who have erred or gone astray in one way or another? Is it the project or assignment that lies ahead of you? Is it the future health of you or your family? For far too many, lying down to go to sleep, something that should be so simply and comforting, bring about only more anxiety, because of the elusiveness peace and rest.
If you have experienced sleepless nights for any reason, please pause and take a breath with me. Breathe in. Breathe out. (Don’t Just read it, go back and do it!) Breathe in. Breathe out. Now – know that you are not alone in your sleeplessness. I don’t know what keeps you up at night, but I am certain that you are not the first to have this particular anxiety or worry, and, unless Jesus comes back this very instant, you will not be the last. In fact, people have struggled with sleepless nights ever since the world fell into this sinful state. King David recounts in Psalm 56 that God has counted his tossings and put his tears in a bottle. God knows every moment of your restlessness and he sees and tenderly collects every single tear.
In his moment of weakness, David turns to the truth that he knows, and recounts it again and again to remind himself (and us!) of the amazing God we have.
Do this with me – Say: “God is for me.” Say it again “God is for me.” Or try this one: “God is good, all the time. All the Time, God is good.” Ok, I know you just read it. I want you to SAY it – out loud, or at least under your breath. Go back and say it again – “God is for me.” One more: “I trust in God, I will not be afraid. I TRUST IN GOD, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID!”
Better yet, the next time you aren’t quite able to get yourself to sleep at night, try saying these phrases. Try pulling out your bible and reading Psalm 56, psalm 91, or some other psalm that reminds us to trust in God. You may be trying to sleep, but God is always alert and actively working for you. He created you. He sacrificed himself for you in Jesus. Don’t you think He will take care of this situation too? Rest assured, God is for you! What can man do to you?
I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear son, that you have graciously kept me this day. And I pray that you would forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into your hands I commend myself, my body and soul and all things. Let your Holy angels be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen. – Luther’s Evening Prayer.
Written by: Pastor Koenig