"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 and another sleepless night was upon me; my mind wouldn't shut off. During the day I had managed to focus 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 downward spiral of focusing on my troubles. It's then and there that the battle is most intense. A war wages between my faith and 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, my thoughts are at war.
Do you struggle in the quiet of the night? Maybe you have thoughts like these ... 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 joy as well as sleep.
This is why I love King David's encouraging words in Psalm 42. 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 devoted himself to praising God.
I want to do the same. When the lights are turned out, I want to choose a song of praise, arming myself with truth and worship for the only One who can carry and fix my troubles. When my mind tries to take a turn and go around that problem one more time, I want to make the choice to stop and sing (even if only in my head).
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
Pick a song you can sing at night when trouble comes knocking and worry wants to run rampant in your 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 thoughts and strengthen my faith in you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
When you are tired and quiet at night, you can be more susceptible to runaway emotions. You can guard your heart from fear by singing praises to your King as your mind and body find their rest.
Think about what song you would choose as your song of praise.
Write Psalm 42:8 down, and put it next to your bed to remind you to look to the Lord as you go to sleep.
Psalm 94:18–19; Exodus 15:2
Taken from Encouragement for Today: Devotions for Everyday Living by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKeurst and Samantha Evilsizer and the Proverbs 31 Ministries Team. © 2013 Proverbs 31 Ministries. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105