Today was a busy, fun-filled day of playing in the snow with my crew and just hanging out with them in general. I did have to work some, but I also made time to take advantage of this rare snow day that they had.
I guess I was really tired, because soon after I laid down to rest and read my new book, I must have fallen asleep.
An hour and a half later, I was wide awake; awakened by the worst nightmare.
I had been having less nightmares, but here over the last few days, there has been a spate of them, even though I am continuing my practice of listening to scripture being read through the YouVersion app on my phone every night as I fall asleep. I hate these nightmares.
But this one, in particular, has me rattled. Shook.
I went outside for a moment to cool off and catch my breath–it’s COLD out there. I came back in and, realizing that sleep was not going to come, I started thinking through scriptures in hopes of calming my soul down.
What I wound up with is the 23rd Psalm.
I think it may be possible that we overlook this Psalm because of its familiarity. Even a lot of non-believers are familiar with the 23rd Psalm. I’ll put the text of it here:
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
It’s a shame that it is sometimes glanced over, because it is a rich, beautiful and powerful Psalm.
Tonight, it is verse 4 that I am clinging to. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”. Sometimes, these nightmares can be like that. Exactly like what I imagine walking through the valley of the shadow of death might be like. The verse goes on to say “I will fear no evil”. Many times my nightmares are laced with evil. But I don’t have to fear that evil because–and here’s my point–God is with me.
It has taken me a long time to learn this. But even in the midst of the worst of the worst nightmares, God is with me. He is with me. And though they still mess me up, I can gain orientation by remembering that He is here, even if I don’t sense His presence outright. He is here with me, even now. He must be, because this scripture is truth.
No, sleep won’t return for quite awhile tonight, which is ok because it’s not even really bedtime anyway. And I imagine when it is bedtime, sleep will not come easily tonight. But for now, I am taking comfort that God is a God who is here. With us. Amongst us. He’s the one, through Christ who said He would be with us until the end of the earth. And then, we will be with Him, where there will be no more nightmares, no more evil, no more fear.