You toss and turn, move positions, beat the pillow, take pills yet sleep still proves elusive. Your heart seems to pump abnormally and your mind is unsettled, yet the things that keep you awake, are way beyond your abilities. In the wee hours of the night you have been entertaining worries and anxiety, the thought of failure cannot allow you a snooze.
The year is barely three weeks old and you have a clear picture of what you would like to achieve. As exciting as some goals may be, the truth is achieving them will be hard work. When you think of the mountain ahead of you, you find yourself wallowing in anxiety. In retrospect, your unchecked boxes from last year just make life quite unbearable.
The missed work targets, the bad exam results, that wayward child, the threat from auctioneers, a marriage on the brink of breakage, divorce, court case, lost fortune; sometimes it’s as basic as putting food on the table or another luxury like buying a second car. Maybe it’s a terminal disease such as cancer or a death threat, just like David had.
The psalm may not paint the whole picture, but it seems like David was at a point where he was so anxious to sleep. But instead of diving head first into worry, he found solace in prayer. He first reminded himself a few truths about God; He is the God of righteousness and the God of mercy. He further remembered that it is God who set him apart, so it was God’s work to protect him.
The finite mind finds it hard to fathom the ways and works of God more often than not, which can make you question what He is doing. Even as you walk with the Lord, desperation can make you yearn for one more time just to have that good feeling that things will be okay. But in such a moment David realizes that the only remedy for his anxiety is to trust God and be still.
Our materialistic nature can make us equate joy and gladness to times when we had a fat bank accounts and a house stacked with food. But David realized that nothing can compare to the Joy of the Lord. He constantly reckoned that peace and safety can only come from God. So he saw no reason to stay awake waist deep in worry.
The worst enemy of sleep is anxiety, but the remedy of anxiety is trusting that God will do what he says he will do. No amount of worry will move your mountains, or as scripture puts it, it will not add a single day to your life? (Matt 6:27). You cannot wish your issues away by being anxious. You are the beloved of God and he has granted you sleep, do not let anxiety rob you that. As Paul reminds us, stop splitting hairs over things God is taking care of, and enjoy the peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:6-7).
By Harncell Oyango