Scripture Focus: Psalm 3.5
5 I lie down and sleep;
     I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

Psalm 4.8
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
     for you alone, Lord,
     make me dwell in safety.

From John: I’m pleased to tell you that for the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing twice a week from Erin while I’m working on another project. I look forward to hearing her voice more often during this time.

Reflection: Counting Waves
By Erin Newton

As a child prone to nightmares, I learned that a sleepful night was a dreamless night. As an adult, those sleepful nights were interrupted by crying babies or nagging thoughts about the day.

Restful sleep is a luxury. In our fast-paced world, our tragedy-filled world, our stress-inducing world—sleep is often minimal, fitful, or both. When was the last time I laid down in peace and slept?

Psalm 3 is a call for deliverance. Pleading for God to arise and deliver, the psalmist recounts the number of enemies and their mocking voices. Psalm 4 asks God for deliverance from distress. Calling for relief and mercy, the psalmist seeks the ear and attention of God. The world around them is not at peace.

I lie down and sleep.

In peace, I will lie down and sleep.

It is not the circumstances of life that lead the psalmist to close his eyes without fear or anxiety. God is a shield for his people. God is an open receiver for his people. God is the sustainer of his people. These two psalms can boast of a good night’s rest because God stands ready amidst their turbulent lives.

Turbulence usually keeps us awake. We toss and turn, thinking about how we will pay our next mortgage, how we will tell our kids about cancer, how lonely we are, how much we have messed up—and more. We fret well; we don’t sleep well.

One day, many centuries ago, Jesus got in a boat with his friends. The group set sail upon the winds of the Galilean Sea. The journey was underway, the day had been long, and Jesus laid down in peace to sleep. Suddenly, the winds shifted, and the waves tossed. A storm came over the sea; the boat was swamped with waves. But Jesus remained asleep within the boat.

The disciples urged Jesus to awake, their voices strained with fear. “Teacher, do you not care if we drown?” Their world was not at peace. Their hearts were not at peace.

But Jesus did care. He stood ready amidst the turbulent waves. And the waves were still. Jesus knew that God protects, God hears, and God sustains.

As we lay down, may our minds drift to thoughts of our Lord speaking over the waves—speaking over the lie that he doesn’t care if we drown: Hush, hush, be still.  

He cares.  

Divine Hours Prayer: Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Protect my life and deliver me; let me not be put to shame, for I have trusted in you.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for my hope has been in you. — Psalm 25.19-20

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
2 Samuel 16 (Listen 4:03)
Psalms 1-2 (Listen 1:56)

Read more about State of Our Souls
Reflecting on the work of Christ in our lives is something we must repeat…an anchor in these storm-tossed waves of life.

Read more about Bearing Cursing
Rather than lashing out, may we seek consolation in God and humbly endure insults in the name of Jesus.