What Keeps You Up At Night? by Katy McCown
“I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 63:6-7 (NLT)
Darkness blanketed my quiet house. No one was stirring, not even a mouse. Yet my heart would not be still.
Just a few hours before, my heart danced to the sweet sounds of my husband, Luke, tucking our boys into bed. The spaghetti dishes piled up in the sink didn’t even bother me.
The buzz of Luke’s phone interrupted my party. Who could be calling at this hour? When Luke met me in the kitchen, my dancing heart had ceased.
“Someone’s calling you,” I choked out. “The number is from work.”
The voice on the other end confirmed our fears — a job change, effective immediately.
And when I say immediately I mean like by breakfast the next morning our family would be in a new city hundreds of miles away.
Let the packing begin.
Working at the pace of an Olympic sprinter, I washed clothes and folded them into piles, sorted them and threw them into bags. I arranged for doggy care while we figured out where on earth we’d live in this new place, then gathered snacks for the journey ahead.
Finally, with only a few hours to spare I tried to force my eyes shut, and tried to shut down my mind. But this night, I couldn’t find the off button. In the midst of my midnight mayhem, a friend sent a message to say, “God’s up. You don’t have to be.”
Her timely words remided me of a principle my kids learned one day at violin lessons.
“Don't squeeze. Just kind of sink all the way to the bottom,” the teacher instructed.
As she taught her eager students to play new notes, she noticed they took their effort a little too far. They focused hard and fixed their eyes on the strings. They wanted so badly to do it right.
But their work didn’t produce the results they’d hoped for. The note screeched off the strings and the sound pierced the air, forced and unpleasant.
My boys looked confused. They’d tried so hard, and it just wasn’t working. “What did I do wrong?” they wondered. That’s when the music teacher loosened their grip.
“Sink don't squeeze,” she said. “The note will play itself. Simply place your finger on the string and let it sink all the way down.”
What if God's plans for us are like those strings? Created. Arranged. Ready. We simply need to sink into them.
But sometimes we don’t. We squeeze instead of loosening our grip. We encounter a challenging assignment and assume God brought us to it, but left us alone to do it. So we work really hard and give it all we’ve got, all the while screeching out a substitute version of the beautiful melody God intended.
Our key verse gives us another option, "I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 63:6-7). King David penned these words in the wilderness, on the run from a vast army led by his own rebellious son.
Yikes! If there were ever a moment to be up at night worrying, this would be it.
David did lie awake at night, but not for the reasons we’d expect. Instead of fearing for his life or devising a plan of escape, he couldn’t stop thinking about God.
When you find yourself squeezing and not releasing, maybe move your mind from the goal to the Giver of the goal.
After I read my friend’s wise words that night, my heart shifted. Instead of counting all the things still left to do, I counted on God’s greatness, power and provision. I even giggled as I considered my great big, powerful God watching me scurry about thinking it’s all up to me.
If you’re confused and exhausted today, wondering why your best effort hasn’t played the tune you hoped for, maybe it’s time to loosen your grip. Sink into God’s love for you, then rest in the shadow of His wings.
Dear God, I want my thoughts to swirl with praises to You instead of churn with anxiety over the assignments You give me. Help me shift my thoughts to the richness of Your presence and provision. And as I do, let me sink into the wonderful plans You have for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY: 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (NIV) Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (HCSB)
REFLECT AND RESPOND: Make a list of the things that keep your mind racing and commit to pray about these things daily.
Call a friend and ask her to pray with you.
© 2016 by Katy McCown. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org