". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Be Not Afraid

When my oldest child (now 19) was about 7 or 8, he went through a period of time where he was fearful at night. We did various things to try to assuage his fears. First, of course, we prayed with him, asking for the Father's protection and comfort. Second, we bought this tapestry to hang on the wall opposite his bed as a visual reminder of the One who was there watching over him and protecting him not only all through the night but every moment of every day.

Third, we read psalms. Lots and lots of psalms. There was one in particular that we found ourselves returning to again and again. Each night it would be the last one we would read before going to sleep. It happens to have been the Psalm of the Day in church today, the Third Sunday of Easter. Our choir sang a beautiful setting of it from Liturgy Solutions.

Psalm 4

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?

But know the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.

Be angry and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.

There are many who say, "Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!"

You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

At various times in my life I have struggled with insomnia. It comes and goes, but at the moment I seem to be in a pretty severe phase. My usual response after trying to sleep for an hour or so is to give up and go surf the net or watch television (old sitcoms seem to have a tranquilizing effect). But maybe instead I should try the approach we used all those years ago with Trevor: look at a picture of Jesus (the one above is still hanging on the wall in his room), read some psalms, and pray. Even if sleep doesn't come,  it would be time well spent. 


Laura said...

I don't want to discourage reading the Psalms...but have you tried Melatonin? 1mg helps me for a few days and then my body resets...and I am fine for quite awhile.

Cheryl said...

Laura, I have had melatonin suggested to me several times over the years. I really need to give it a try. I think I will go write it on the grocery list now!