On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. - Psalm 63:6-8
My son broke his ankle last night and spent the night in the hospital awaiting surgery this morning. My wife stayed with him in the hospital room, standing watch over our boy all night. Even though I got to go home for a bit, neither one of us slept all that much.
If you've ever had a similar experience or suffered from insomnia, you know the pain of being mortally tired and not being able to sleep.
As I read the lectionary Psalm for today, this moment came to mind when I passed over Psalm 63:6-8. "On my bed, I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night."
I don't know why, but it comforts me to think of the ancient psalmist suffering from sleeplessness "through the watches of the night," which causes him to pray and to sing and to cling to God.
When the noise of the day has faded... When the world around you is quiet and dark... When there is nothing but your own thoughts in the silence... It can sometimes be difficult to be at peace if there are turmoil, trials, and tribulation happening all around you.
Or perhaps you are going through hardship, or have a heavy decision weighing on you. Maybe you've spent a sleepless night in the hospital with a loved one.
I have had some of my most fervent and agonizing times of prayer during the night when everything is quiet and I feel alone and afraid.
There have been more than a few moments when I prayed that God would let me sleep and awaken with new eyes, a new heart and a restored spirit. I have also actually prayed that God would let me awaken with a miraculous resolution to all of the problems weighing on me in my sleeplessness.
"Because you are my help," the psalmist writes in Psalm 63, "I sing in the shadow of your wing. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me."
I am not alone. God is with me. I don't have to be afraid. In the words of St. Julian, “All will be well and all manner of things will be well.”
May you wake this morning and every morning with a real sense of the presence of God in your life. May you know in your heart that you have rested in the shadow of His wing, and will be held up today by His right hand.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.