Love and Protection
When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. There are many who say, "O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!" You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety. Psalm 4: 4-8 (NRSV)
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118: 24 (NRSV)
Carol Shaw Johnston lives in Tennessee. In 2016, Carol and her husband took their two teenage granddaughters on a trip to Alaska. as they settled into their seats for the first leg of their flight there, Carol handed out small notebooks to use as personal journals during the trip. On the first page of each notebook, Carol had written two Bible verses: today's quoted verse from Psalm 118 and a verse from today's reading: "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety" (NIV).
Each morning they recited Psalm 118:24. It set the tone for their days filled with opportunities to enjoy the scenery and creatures of Alaska. Each evening as they settled down to sleep, they would recite Psalm 4:8. It was a calming practice as they relaxed in the knowledge that God was with them and would protect them as they slept.
Since that memorable trip, Carol has continued to repeat these Bible verses each morning and night. She finds that reciting Psalm 4:8 focuses her mind on God's presence and peace. Despite the worries of the day, God is with her. The cares of the world slip away, and her sleep comes more quickly. These two verses have become the bookends for her days, and her life is all the sweeter for this practice.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to rejoice and be glad for the wonderful world you have given us and the peace of knowing your love and protection are with us even as we sleep, in Jesus' name, amen.