2021.04.14 Daily Devotional
The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, April 14, 2021 comes to us from Carol Shaw Johnston of Tennessee
Psalm 4:4-8 4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. 6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 118:26 (NRSV) This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
“Love and Protection”
In 2016, my husband and I took our two teenage grand-daughters on a trip to Alaska. As we settled into our seats for the first leg of our flight there, I handed out small notebooks to use as personal journals during the trip. On the first page of each notebook, I 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 we recited Psalm 118:24. It set the tone for our days filled with opportunities to enjoy the scenery and creatures of Alaska. Each evening as we settled down to sleep, we would recite Psalm 4:8. It was a calming practice as we relaxed in the knowledge that God was with us and would protect us as we slept.
Since that memorable trip, I have continued to repeat these Bible verses each morning and night. I find that reciting Psalm 4:8 focuses my mind on God’s presence and peace. Despite the worries of the day, God is with me. The cares of the world slip away, and my sleep comes more quickly. These two verses have become the bookends for my days, and my life is all the sweeter for this daily practice.
Prayer Focus: Those Who suffer from Insomnia
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to rejoice and be glad for the wonderful world you have given us and for the peace of knowing your love and protection are with us even as we sleep. Amen.
Thought for the Day: When I wake and when I sleep, I will be mindful of God’s care.
— Carol Shaw Johnston
I invite you to consider which practices bring you the kind peacefulness of which Carol Shaw Johnston speaks so eloquently. Although the Scriptures often speak to me, the peace and relaxation of trusting God often actually comes from a walk outside in God’s world. As I experience God’s good and holy creation, I find peacefulness and relaxation that can often lead to a good night’s sleep.