Monday, December 10, 2012

Peaceful Words

I love being a writer. Love being immersed in the worlds inside my imagination. Love the way imagination can bring things to full-blown, four-color life.

Usually.

There are times, though, when an active imagination can work against you.
Ever since childhood, I've dealt with nightmares. Even have a few recurring ones that just won't leave me alone. These dark and dreadful dreams still invade my sleep on a far too regular basis, leaving me gasping for air, trembling from terror, unsure what's real and what isn't.

When I was in my teens, I jolted awake from an especially terrifying nightmare. Shaken to the core, I turned on my light and grabbed my Bible. I asked God to help me. To give me something that I could hold onto at night, when I went to sleep. And here's what met my eyes and heart when I opened my Bible:

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me to dwell in safety." 
Psalm 4:8

Oh, the power of those words that night. Reading them was like sinking into a cool, clear mountain stream after suffering from the blistering sun all day. I closed my eyes, and every remnant of the nightmare fell away. It gave me the same sensation I had when my dad put his arm around me, snuggling me close to his side. I was cherished. Protected.

                                                                    Safe.


To this day, Psalm 4:8 speaks peace to my heart and mind.

I first read it in a King James Bible. The New Living Translation says it like this: "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, will keep me safe."

The Good News Translations has a nice spin on it: "When I lie down, I go to sleep in peace; for you alone, O LORD, keep me perfectly safe."

And then there's The Message: "At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep, for you, GOD, have put my life back together."

Whatever version I use, that verse carries me through many nights when my mind swirls with fear, when I know it's going to be a struggle to close my eyes and seek into a restful sleep. It comforts me when little else does. What amazing the power contained in words of truth!

As I pondered those words this morning, I decided to search out more of what God has to say to us about giving us His peace. But before I share what I discovered, I'm curious. Do YOU have specific verse that sustain you when you're afraid? Why not share it here so it can help others as well?

Peace to you today!


2 comments:

Carrie Miller said...

Hi Karen,
I have a frequent similar experience and it happened even just last night. What happens is I awake from a nightmare and I am full of fear and anxiety. (I am not normally a fearful or anxious person). But something about a bad dream puts all kinds of horrible hypothetical situations into my head. (A plane could crash into my house or my daughter could stick a fork into an electrical socket.) Suddenly these situations bombard me and I am terrified by the what ifs. After I few minutes, I have to remind myself God is always in control. He has a purpose and a plan for my life and I trust Him. With EVERYTHING. Then, I open up my Bible Ap and start reading the verse or chapter of the day. No matter what the words, they always remind me, my God is with me. He loves and cares for me and even if the worst thing happens, He is in control! I am so thankful for a God who does not want us to worry or fear. He is so good!

Xochi E. Dixon said...

"But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me." (Psalm 3:3-5, NIV)

These verses help me remember God's presence. He protects me, carries me, hears me, answers me, and sustains me. When I'm afraid, I am comforted and strengthened by thinking about His constant presence and knowing He loves me intimately.

Thanks for sharing this word.