"By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me - a prayer to the God of my life." Psalm 42:8 (NIV)
How could this have happened? What could I have done to stop it? One of my kids had made a decision that sent my emotions into a tailspin.
Another sleepless night was upon me; my mind wouldn't shut off. I had done so well during the day, trying to focus my heart and mind on God's promise to make all things work together for good. But as day faded into night, the struggle to trust became more than I could take.
Many nights as I lie in bed, my mind pulls me into a spiral, tempting me to focus on my troubles. It's then and there that the battle is the most intense. A war is waged between my faith and my fears.
What if my loved one never knows Jesus?
Will my kids make the right choices with their peers?
What can I do for my friend who struggles with cancer?
Even though my body is still, the battles rage in my heart and mind.
Do you ever struggle in the quiet of the night? Maybe you have thoughts like: Nobody else has troubles. Other people are just enjoying their lives. Why is mine so hard? The battles we face are real, and rob us of sleep and joy.
We can take a cue from King David's words in Psalm 42:8. During the day he allowed the Lord's love to direct him. Knowing he was loved gave him the strength to make the hard choices that were the best choices.
At night he put away all the words and hard thinking and just praised God.
Might we give David's ways a try and do the same? When the lights are turned out, we can choose a song of praise, arming ourselves with truth and worship for the only One who can carry and fix our troubles. When our minds try to take a turn and go around that problem one more time, let's make the choice to stop and sing (even if only in our heads).
I gave this a try the other night while stewing over my worries. It reminded me of a sign my mom has in her home. "Give me all your troubles before you go to bed. I'm going to be up anyway." — God.
Right now, let's pick a song we'll sing at night when trouble comes knocking and worry wants to run rampant in our heart and mind. Make your prayer a song to God and choose a song of praise to sing to Him all day long - from sunrise to late in the evening. Watch your heart go from fear to faith as you trust in the Lord.
Dear Lord, I feel stronger in the day than in the night. Bring to mind a song of praise I can sing that will lift my heart and cause me to trust in You, morning and night. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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Reflect and Respond:
Write Psalm 42:8 on an index card. Put it next to your bed to remind you to look to Him as you go to sleep.
When the lights are turned off, we can choose a song of praise, arming ourselves with truth and worship for the only One who can carry and fix our troubles. When our mind tries to take a turn and go around that problem one more time, we can choose to stop and sing our song of praise.
Psalm 94:18-19, "When I said, 'My foot is slipping,' your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." (NIV)
Exodus 15:2, "The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him." (NIV 1984)