Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I do pray. O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch Psalm 5:1-(ESV).
Another restless night. Waking up at 2 am, again. Why? Tossing and turning, afraid I will wake up my husband who needs a good night’s sleep. Off I go to the living room…maybe I will read awhile…but the negative thoughts that I try to push away come again.
In his book THE WALK, Richard Paul Evan’s main character comments, “I realized I was not walking alone. I was being followed by three sojourners: grief, bitterness and despair” (107). That really resonated with me because I am acquainted with those three ‘clingons’, and I know many others who would also like to leave them behind.
In the fifth Psalm the poet goes on to describe his enemies. I can imagine he is going through their evil deeds, reasoning in his heart and mind how God will shut them down. He pairs his complaint with an equally powerful truth about the LORD. “You hate evildoers.” “Make them bear their guilt, O God.” To me it is comforting to see that I am not the only one who has these dialogues going on in my heart.
Then I am reminded that there are other sojourners: love, joy, and peace. I can almost imagine a contented sigh when the Psalmist ends his complaint with a more powerful truth:
However, let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield Psalm 5:11-12 (ESV).
A praise song comes to mind, and it is a much more pleasant loop to have swirling around in my head. I shuffle back to bed, pull the covers around me and think about how God’s favor is covering me like a shield. The joy of his eternal protection is another victory over the enemy of my soul.