The Troubles of The Day
“My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear (terror), neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken (caught).” Proverbs 3:21-26
When I was a kid, I would get nervous anytime an adult would talk to my parents. I did not always abide by the law, whether that was in Sunday school, school or in life in general. I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night only to remember that I had a test I didn’t study for, or a task I didn’t complete. My heart would sometimes pound out of my chest, and I would have a hard time going back to sleep. My dreams were not sweet, and they often brought be me back to my troubles or played out the consequences of my actions in them.
A good night’s rest is not to be taken for granted, and it is priceless when you wake up rested and ready for the day. Sleep can escape us due to restless thoughts, anxiety, and sometimes our sin. We wrestle with the cares of our day instead of praying and giving them to our God as I Peter 5:7 instructs us, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” Although sleep sometimes evaded me as a kid, I also wrestle with it from time to time as an adult. Rest escapes me as I ponder the things I need to do or think about the responsibilities I have taken upon myself. My soul is noisy and it keeps me from resting, and the sounds of the night make me fearful of the “what if” scenarios of life.
When the virus hit last March, there was hope that it would be over soon and that we would all go back to living a normal life as we did before. Now a full year later, we are still hoping things will fully open up soon. There were rumors going around at work that there may be salary cuts, loss of jobs, and the removal of our annual bonus. I pondered all of this and it made my soul noisy as I thought about all the negative aspects of each one of those scenarios. It brought about fear in me, and it made me uneasy. I began to realize that I was putting my confidence in my job and not in my God. He is the One who provided me with this job, and He is the One who continues to provide food, clothes, and shelter for me. My job is just one way He provides for me, and He is in control of all of that. Rest was then not hard to come by when I placed my trust in Him and not in my circumstances, and my soul was at peace in Him.
I think of these verses and particularly the command to, “Keep sound wisdom and discretion” as these qualities are imperative to what we think about and how we think. The worries of this world must be viewed through the lens of sound wisdom and discretion, and we must not allow our hearts to fear the headlines of the day. We live in a society that desires to bring fear into our lives through our health, finances, reputation, and our job. I have lived for 44 years on this earth and the only constant thing that exists is almighty God. He has not changed one bit as He is unchangeable. He is the same God who came into my life and saved me as a young child, and He is the same God who continues to care and provide for me now. He is the only One in whom my confidence should be placed, and He is the only One who can make my sleep sweet amidst trouble.
Where are you today friend? Are you keeping sound wisdom and discretion before your eyes? Are you allowing your soul to be noisy with alerts on your phone with the latest “news” that only bring about anger, covetousness, and fear in your life? In whom or what are you trusting? Are you trusting in your job? How about your 401k or savings account? May we come to know and rest in the fact that our safety and confidence is only in the LORD. He is our protector, sustainer and provider. Will your sleep be sweet tonight, or will you be up all night counting sheep and biting your nails? May we rest in Him and cast on Him the cares we were never meant to carry.
Stay in the fight!