The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14 (NIV)

 Tori’s ninth birthday is today and the word is she just couldn’t go to sleep last night. The cat was on the bed, the cat wanted out, the cat scratched at the door; these were just a few of the excuses. The real issue was anticipation. Finally, much later than normal, she drifted off to sleep, only to waken at 6 AM this morning…ready to go. Let the day begin!

That sleep issue can be a real bummer. I know because I’ve been there—even last night. I’m following a blog about a women who suffered a major stroke at age 38. She is recovering but sleep eludes her. Her prayer requests have often been about a good night’s sleep.

The disciples watched in amazement as Jesus slept in the back of the boat during a raging storm. Finally, they couldn’t stand it any longer and woke him asking, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He calmed the sea but asked them a more provoking question, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Mary Southland, a favorite blog writer, recently wrote:

Faith is built upon trust. God wants us to trust Him – even when we do not understand what is happening or can explain the circumstances. Even when nothing makes sense and everything seems wrong. It is easy to trust Him when the seas are calm and the skies are clear but the strength of our faith is measured in the midst of a raging storm. A crisis always reveals what is really inside. What life does to us depends on what life finds in us. Faith is a deliberate choice to believe God, to walk through our fear, knowing we can trust Him every step of the way.

I know that a good night’s rest is very important for me. Without it, the world looks grim and crankiness takes over rather than joy. During the dark hours of the night, I often repeat the 23rd Psalm focusing on the four actions that He is doing for me in verses 2 and 3:

He makes me lie down in greenpastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me inpaths of righteousness

for hisname’s sake.

His presence enfolds me in the darkest of nights so that I can rest and I know that the cares of the day will not overwhelm me. I trust Him to meet me at each crossroads that I encounter and show me the way. He has been there in the past and I have faith He will be there the next time I need Him.

Rest well.