Once when I was a young teen my parents let me stay by myself in the house overnight while they took my sister to the airport in Kansas City. I love solace, so I immediately started reading my novel and spent the entire evening engrossed in it. I stopped at the place where the heroes were being followed by a creature with glowing eyes, so that I could shower and go to bed. But the echoes of the story left me unsettled, and the big empty house magnified my fears. I peeked out of my room and thought I saw one of the chairs move, blocking a light across the room, and I was terrified.
I retreated to the sanctuary of my room, feeling blockaded by my fears; in desperation I reached for my Bible and sought comfort within its pages. Psalms 3 and 4 lay in my lap, and as I read and prayed for God to help me a few verses caught my attention.
“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah. I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” - Psalm 3:3-6
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” - Psalm 4:8
It felt like God had written those scriptures just for me, just for that moment. I did both lie down and sleep with an indescribable peace that could only have come from God.
You may never find yourself in my exact situation, nor am I likely to repeat it. But just because we are grown doesn’t mean we will never encounter gripping fear. We may not be so easily frightened by book monsters anymore, but there are new fears like loss, isolation, financial distress, debilitating depression, illnesses, crippling injustice, broken relationships, and more.
God’s word is unique: it was written for us, for this moment, just as much as it was in our past. It was written for you, for your fears, just as much as it was for mine. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His word is unfailing. It is living and active, and within its pages we meet our living Savior. He comes to our rescue through His words, the ones he wrote just for us!
Sometimes you may find it hard to sleep, the worries and fears of your unknown future or present pains gripping you relentlessly. Let God’s words in these verses comfort you, for they are His truth and His promises for you.
The Lord is your shield, He is the lifter of your head! He answers you when you cry aloud to him. Lie down and sleep in peace, for He alone makes you dwell in safety. And then awake, for it is He who sustains you! Do not be afraid of the people, circumstances, or spiritual forces that set themselves against you on every side. The Lord is your shield!
“Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah.” - Psalm 3:7-8
- Dani Waltner