Some nights I worry. Not often, but occasionally. Maybe I’m hyper from too much activity, food, or ego stroking. I should drift off to sleep, but I don’t. Did I lock the car? Do I hear a faucet dripping or is it rain pattering the windowpane? Will the war ever stop? Why don’t they return my call? This pain in my back, is it angina, arthritis, or acid reflux?
So I flip- flop side-to-side seeking to get more comfortable. I fluff pillows and untangle blankets. Then I opt for practical strategies, like staring at the sky until I get drowsy. Like munching a cracker, which often works (whether physical or psychological, who knows)!
Then the Lord calls me to account. Quite worrying! Redeem the time, hum hymns, recite Scripture, pray! Yes, Lord, I mumble. So I pray for family members by name. This sure beats worrying! It calms the body and focuses the spirit. Often I doze off before finishing the list. (Next time I’ll start with the youngest!) Such prayer un-clutters the mind and renews trust in God. It recovers the “single eye full of light,” that Jesus talked about. It restores hope.
Friends, join me in the Psalmist’s prayer, “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.” (33: 22 TNIV) Receive with me this reassurance: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4: 6 TNIV)
Night after Night
Lord, sometimes it’s hard to distinguish
legitimate concern from faithless anxiety.
to disentangle my agenda from yours.
During the day many tasks and tools
rightly occupy mind and body.
Nightly they often overburden me.
What I really hope for is unfailing love,
satisfying tasks, friendships, peace,
reassurance of atoning grace—
forgiveness, holiness, joy—
for myself, for my loved ones,
day after day, night after night.
Lord, hear my prayer.
Wrap your arms around me
and rock me to sleep. Amen.
Peace and Joy!
Arthur O. Roberts