Terror In The Night

tree branches during night
Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

I will ask this question, but I already know the answer.

Do you ever wake in the middle of the night (or maybe you didn’t yet get to sleep) and lie there worrying about life?

That’s why I didn’t have to ask the question because I think the answer for most of us is “yes.”

Sometimes those terrorizing worries are major. Sometimes they are troublesome, but not debilitating. Sometimes they are minor. But as we watch our clock move from midnight to 1:00, the fears clinch our thought process and sleep creeps further and further away. We might just stay motionless where we are, or kick around a little, or get up to wander around the house, or turn on the TV … but the worries tumble over each other like a never-ending water fall.

Right now many people are hurting. Many are concerned about how their small businesses will survive after our current lockdown. Many don’t know where next month’s rent or mortgage is coming from. Many are sick or have a family member who is sick or are fearful of getting sick. Many are concerned about their jobs. Most of us are at least somewhat restless.

Sometimes after a night of sleeplessness, we wake to a brand-new day and the leaky pipe or broken fence that seemed unfixable at 12:43 a.m. doesn’t seem all that bad. But often the keeping-us-awake-fear is still there in the morning.

Did you know the Lord cares about those middle-of-the-night terrors?

Listen to what we read in His Word.

First of all, in studying the Bible, we understand that we aren’t the first ones who have trouble sleeping. Think about Job’s life. He was surrounded by loss of everything.

Job 7:4                                                                                                                                                 When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’
    But the night is long,
    and I am full of tossing till the dawn.

Yet Job was able to trust in God.

Job 19:25                                                                                                                                              For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last He will stand upon the earth.

The Psalmist also writes about the night.

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

Psalm 6:6                                                                                                                                                  I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.

Psalm 30:5b
… Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 91:1-2, 5                                                                                                                                         He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,

I’ll be honest. I am not immune to middle-of-the-night restlessness.  I wonder whether the next chemo treatment will work or think about the next trip to the University of Chicago Medical Center (especially in this upside-down-world of the corona virus and the city being a hot spot.) But I also know that lying awake worrying about it is not solving anything.

I think about the many promises of God.

Psalm 63:6-8                                                                                                                                      When I remember you upon my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
 for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Then I find a podcast of someone’s interview or someone’s sermon and I thank God for caring about me even in my middle-of-the-night restlessness.

And I go to sleep …

… well, most of the time.

I wanted to add something here for the children in our lives. They get very frightened too. They aren’t worried about losing their jobs or the fate of small businesses, but they might be scared of the thunderstorm, the strange shadows on the wall, the noise from the wind in the branches. Or they pick up on more serious news … such as Covid-19.

When our kids were little and we saw that they were afraid of some nighttime enemy, I would find a picture of what they feared. For instance, I found a picture of a thunderstorm and wrote out Hebrews 13:5b on it, then hung it on their wall where they would see it. That way they would associate God’s promise with a verse. That way they would have a promise of God to counteract their scary thoughts.




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