“But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. I was crying to the LORD with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me.” (3:3-5, NASB)
God has used these verses to bring me comfort and strengthen my resolve through many sleepless nights and countless seasons of affliction.
When circumstances seemed hopeless, when my sobs were the only prayers I could offer, God would bring me back to these three short verses.
I never understood why these words are so powerful, until now.
“But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head” (v. 3).
During my darkest hours, God helps me focus on who He is and how He works.
The Lord protects me like a shield. He is present and personal.
When I read these words, I imagine Jesus cupping my face with His mighty and loving hands and saying, “I am with you, Beloved.”
Lord, help me live like I believe Your loving presence is enough.
“I was crying to the LORD with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain” (v. 4).
God hears, even when my cries are silent tears streaking my cheeks.
God is beyond the ordinary and without limits.
God is above all, exceedingly powerful, merciful, compassionate, just, loving, and good.
How do I know?
He reveals these truths, and Himself, throughout the Bible.
Our Creator, Redeemer, Wise Counselor and Savior of the world cares enough to listen to us and answers our prayers.
God is intimately close without leaving His holy mountain.
Only the one true God can be with us, while remaining exalted above His creation.
“I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me” (v. 5).
The Lord holds the universe in His palm and can handle every detail of our lives.
He has planned each day of our lives.
God is using every broken piece of our lives to create a beautiful and purposed mosaic of His love, sealed in grace according to His perfect will.
In Psalm 121:3, the psalmist declares that “[the LORD] will not let your foot slip — He who watches over you will not slumber.” (NIV)
God doesn’t nod off on the job. He is our loving Shepherd. We can trust Him as we sleep.
Peace prevails in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
He sustains us, holds us up, and meets our deepest needs.
Sustains, not sustained.
The Hebrew word for sustains, s?mak, means “to uphold, to lay one’s hand upon, to be braced, to strengthen, to refresh, to secure” (Strongest, 1459).
The Lord is actively supporting us, carrying us, providing for us, even and especially during times of long-suffering.
The more we know Him, the more we love Him. The more we obey Him, the more we learn to trust Him.
Whatever is keeping us up at night or burdening our hearts, God can handle.
When we honestly and humbly admit our struggles and release our cares to the Lord, He provides supernatural peace.
How do I know?
Because, once again, God is helping me sleep at night as I trust Him during another difficult waiting season.
This morning, after waking up at 4am due to intense back pain, I read the following verse:
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8, NASB)
Just when we feel like we can’t take one more minute of affliction or one more second of waiting, God gives us blessed assurance.
Because He is the Maker of the heavens and the earth, He’s in charge, in control, and perfectly capable of handling anything we’re willing to place into His gentle, but mighty, hands.
Thank You, Lord, for helping us acknowledge Your constant presence and realize Your immeasurable power. Help us rest secure on the firm foundation of Your grace, as we place every detail of our lives in Your care and serve You in courageous faith. In Jesus name, Amen.
Why is it hard for us to trust God when we’re hurting, afraid, or waiting for a breakthrough? How does the Lord bring you comfort or strengthen your resolve when you’re running low on patience or endurance?
Photo taken by Karen Barnett, author of Mistaken.