Comfort for Sleepless Nights

This past summer, there have been at least three random, deadly shootings in our country.  People are dying of West Nile Virus in Dallas, not that far (at least in pathogen terms) from where we live.  Planes crash, vehicles collide, would-be-molesters lurk, machines malfunction. It’s enough to make me never leave my house, except that homes are where electrical outlets catch fire, carbon monoxide/black mold/radon hide as silent killers, where children drown in shallow baths.

The world is a terrifying place when you think about it in terms of risk analysis.  So I recognize that it’s completely irrational when I hope for early labor, thinking that we’ll be out of the woods once pregnancy is over and Tres is safely in my arms.

“Let’s not comfort ourselves with lies,” cautioned pastor David Platt in a podcast I heard recently.  And it IS a lie to tell myself that I’ll need to trust God less once  the baby is out in the world, that I’ll have more control over his  health and safety just because I can see and touch and administer medicine.

One of Abby’s CDs ends with a sweet lullaby written to a child who keeps sneaking out of bed to go to his parents’ bedroom at night.  As a parent who has spent her fair share of time tripping across furniture in a dark house just for one more reassuring glimpse of my sleeping–still breathing!–child, the words have spoken poignantly to my own heart.

You shouldn’t feel the need to take such drastic measures
With the God of all creation looking on
He will keep you on this night, yes, and forever
He will keep you as he keeps us down the hall
(“Settle In, My Child, and Sleep” by Andrew Peterson)

The quiet music and soothing voice certainly add to the effect, but the truth in this song is undeniably comforting.  It’s not my watchful eye holding my household together in those silent nighttime hours.  I can close my eyes in my own bed and drift (or plunge immediately, as the case may be) into  unconsciousness, because I know that God has numbered our days, and that he is the one who will supply another day’s breath for me, for Stephen, for the toddler in her twin bed, for the baby in the womb or in the crib.

John MacArthur calls it “the theology of sleep,” for how could anyone possibly cease worrying, striving, self-protecting without a childlike trust in a good and sovereign God to keep the world spinning?

When I lay me down to sleep, and when I wake to venture out into the scary world  for a new day’s activities, I can do no more or less than entrust our lives to the good and strong Father who holds us all in his hands.

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3 responses to “Comfort for Sleepless Nights

  1. love this reminder.
    love andrew peterson.
    love you!
    thank you, lindsey!

  2. Very good, Lindsey. One of my favorite verses since childhood (I had many years of dealing with fear of the dark) was/is Psalm 4:8, in the KJV as I originally learned it: “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.” Recently I found that verse on a wall plaque picturing a sleeping dog on a quilt-covered bed, and it now hangs in my bedroom.

  3. Amen, sister 😉

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