April 11, 2018

Psalm 4…“When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent.” Vs. 4

It’s impossible to live without becoming disturbed about some encounter or experience, and we can never predict what sort of thing might set us off. It could be some major calamity or just some small thing, a conversation or maybe a text that provokes our anxiety receptors. In these moments our minds go wild, blood pressure may increase, and stress levels begin to build…and we wonder what we can say or do to bring serenity back. The psalmist knows all about such feelings and offers some pithy advice. In short, he tells us to keep our mouths shut and go to bed. We note that he doesn’t say we should go to sleep! He seems to know that sleep is virtually impossible in those moments–something to which we can all attest. Instead, he advises pondering, again an experience with which we have abundant experience. But what then? As we lie in our beds replaying the events of the day, reliving the conversations, imagining what we should have said, what end should we expect? For the psalmist, the ultimate comfort was confidence in God, simply knowing that he was in God’s hands and that God was in control. His words in verse 8 sum it up well, “I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.” Quietly lying in our beds and putting our trust in God can work wonders in restoring lost serenity!

Thought for the Day: What keeps me awake at night?