Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Psalm 30 (NRSV)
I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up,
and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O LORD, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O LORD,
you had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To you, O LORD, I cried,
and to the LORD I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me!
O LORD, be my helper!”
You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
Have you ever noticed that when you are having a hard time sleeping, you worry about not being able to sleep? You worry about being tired the next day. Then you think about all you have to do the next day, stress about work, or the children. Before you know it, you’re wide awake and can’t sleep! From having two daughters with Attention Deficit Disorder, I’ve discovered that even the seemingly carefree young can have difficulties sleeping.
What if we consider those times of insomnia as an opportunity for holy wakefulness instead? What if we, like the psalmist, make it an occasion to thank God and remember how God has saved and healed? “I have cried to you for help, and you have healed me” (verse 2). What if we remember, “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (verse 5)? What if we shift our focus off of ourselves and our stresses to God and sing our praises to God (verse 12)?
Perhaps then the inability to sleep can become a time of holy wakefulness in which we can, with the psalmist, thank God forever!
In you, God, we live and move and have our being, but so often we forget. We become too focused upon ourselves and not on you. Turn those self-absorbed moments into occasions to ponder on your goodness and your saving, healing power. When the current moment is especially grim, remind us that your joy comes in the morning. Amen.
Go with God.