A Peaceful Sleep

Scripture Reading — Mark 4:35-38

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. — Psalm 4:8

Sometimes it’s just about impossible to fall asleep. You could be excited because you are planning to leave for a trip in the morning. You could be worried about your son’s opioid addiction. Or you could be terrified by a storm that threatens to sink your boat. Whatever the reason, you can’t sleep. Your eyes are wide open, and you’re staring into the dark. Now what?

Psalm 4 ends this way: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” That verse connects with a gripping scene one night on the Sea of Galilee. There, on a small boat in the midst of a raging storm, Jesus is fast asleep. The boat rises and falls on the swells, taking on water, threatening to sink. The disciples’ hearts are racing with fear. The fishermen among them know how dangerous the storm is.

But Jesus sleeps. He has no doubt that his Father will keep them all safe. As he lays down his head on a cushion, I imagine Jesus saying a trusting prayer: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

When you have a hard time falling asleep, remember Psalm 4. Pray those words with Jesus. Repeat them softly. As you do, welcome his presence. And may you sleep.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, when it’s time to sleep, help me to turn my anxieties, worries, and fears over to you, trusting you to look after everything. Amen.