This morning is one of many where I have waken up with knots of anxiety deep in my bosom. I feel very fragile and susceptible to danger. If I could describe it, I picture my heart as an open wound sucking air that needs to be filled.
Longing for hope, longing for purpose.
I wonder if it was a horrific dream that my alarm so graciously woke me from. Maybe it had nothing to do with sleep but the reality of waking up, in general. Are your nightmares sometimes easier to deal with than reality? Thoughts about the day ahead many times leave me paralyzed, constantly snoozing my alarm while hiding underneath my covers and between my myriad of pillows. My bed many times feels like a mighty fortress; a refuge amidst life’s great storms.
Not sure if I am alone in the amount of vulnerability I face, but I know that Jesus understood it perfectly during his time on Earth (Matt. 4:1-11; 26:36-46). But rather than running to a bed of rocks, he ran to the Bedrock.
God wants to be our fortress and our refuge. His protection is far more soft than a quilt and freshly-washed linens could ever be. His love is more comfortable than the fanciest memory-foam mattress topper out there. Boy, his grace is more sufficient than any sleep you have ever wished for. Above all, His presence can travel where our actual bed cannot. How do I get out of bed on days like these? I rest in one of many promises like this one…
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
he young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”