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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Psalm 4:8 –  I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Whenever I feel anxious at bedtime these words roll off my tongue. Most of the time a tangible peace follows in their wake, settling in the silence around me. Occasionally I have to choose to believe them, but even then they are not without effect.

Sometimes, when my anxieties have centered around the safety of my loved ones, I’ve taken the verse a step further…I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make [my daughter, husband, mom, etc.] dwell in safety.

But a few nights ago something new occurred to me. If I believe that the Lord alone makes me dwell in safety, surely that has broader relevance. So I started to apply it to other cares and concerns…

I will _______________ (in peace), for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

and

I will _______________ (in peace), for you alone, O Lord, make __________ dwell in safety.

I suppose I didn’t strictly adhere to the wording I’ve listed above, but you get the idea. Listing my fears in this way, great and small, peace rushed and swirled around me, putting things in proper perspective. The anxieties that seemed so big only moments before became as nothing.

What are you afraid of? What gnaws away at your peace and settles uncomfortably in your stomach, making it hard to breathe?

Or maybe it’s nothing so dramatic as all that. Maybe it’s just a nagging concern that’s difficult to put to rest. What troubles you?

Arise and greet the morning in peace, walk and live and breathe in peace, lie down and sleep in peace, for it is God who makes you…and all those you love…dwell in safety.

Sweet dreams!

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Be still

Monday night found me sitting (well, pacing most of the time, but in a relaxed sort of way) at God’s feet. Of late much of my time spent with him has been fairly one-sided – “God, I’m sorry I keep doing this, and I know I’ve not been here often enough, but please help me with this, and this, and this”…God is gracious, and I know He wants me to cast my cares on him, but I’d finally had enough of myself and decided I wanted something more.

The scene was set. My daughter was asleep in bed. My husband wasn’t home yet. I had space and time all to myself. I determined that I was going to wait. No questions, no expectations, no strings. Just me and him. If he wanted to speak, fine, if he didn’t, fine. This was not about agendas, this was about being together. Snuggling up. Holding hands.

I put my cares in a box and shoved them at his feet. And then I waited. I could feel his presence in the room around me, and for the first time in a while I felt still. Able and content to just be. I lifted my hands, I sang, I prayed in tongues, I slowly paced around the room, I knelt. The silence was filled with a heavy calm.

Eventually I heard his voice, “Be still and know that I am God.” After a bit more quiet I decided to go and look the verse up.

Over the past 7 or 8 years God has freed me from some serious fear issues, but in the past couple of months old and new fears have been rising up and trying to reclaim a place in my life. I opened up to Psalm 46 and as I went back to the beginning the words leaped off the page. I started to pace the room again, chewing on them, waving my sword around for the first time in ages.

Excerpts from Psalm 46 (adapted)

God is MY refuge. God is MY strength. God is an EVER-PRESENT help in trouble. God IS my REFUGE. God IS my STRENGTH. God is an ever-present HELP in trouble. Therefore I WILL NOT FEAR…God is within [me – the place where the Most High dwells], I will not fall; God will help [me] at break of day. Nations are in uproar, KINGDOMS fall (but I will not); he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with ME; the God of Jacob is MY fortress…He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

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