In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
(Psalm 4:8, NIV)
Friend to Friend
“How will this work out?”
“Do I have the strength to get through this?”
Questions like this swirl inside her mind at the end of a hard day. Her head is on a pillow, but her heart is in another place. One that’s filled with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.
We’ve all had nights like this one. We stare at the clock as the minutes pass by and sigh, “I used to be able to sleep like a baby.” That phrase has always sounded a little odd to me because I have lots of friends with kids and, well, their babies never seem to sleep as much as mom and dad would like.
But I think that saying comes from what happens when an infant does drift off to dreamland in the arms of someone who loves them. Their little faces are full of peace, and often what would wake many of us doesn’t disturb their slumber.
Babies sleep when they know they are secure. They sleep when they’re confident their needs will be met. The sleep of a child is an act of trust because they’re completely vulnerable—helpless and defenseless.
It’s this kind of trust that the psalmist shows when he says, “You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” In other words, “I know where my security comes from, and it’s from You, God.” Like a little child, David knows whose arms will hold him. He knows who will watch over him. He knows he’s in the care of One who can be believed.
Hard days can tempt us to place our security where God never intended it to be. We grasp at money, relationships, or even self-reliance to make us feel safe. It’s a human response to reach out for what’s tangible and what seems like it will give us peace. We try to find a way to stay standing. We want to hold on to what’s in front of us with all our might.
And yet this verse extends an entirely different invitation than what our mind is screaming at us to do: it invites us to “Lie down and sleep in peace.” In other words, release control. Realize that you can’t keep yourself safe. You can’t fix this problem. You can’t be strong enough on your own.
Yes, you can partner with God, but in the same way a baby partners with a parent—in trust, obedience, and surrender.
Next time you want to stay up and strive, lie down in peace instead. It’s a strange paradox. It’s often in the moments when we feel weakest and most vulnerable that God exerts His strength on our behalf.
Lay your head on His chest. Tell Him you’re afraid and weary. Tell Him what you need. Then let your heart rest.
You are in God’s care, and your security is with Him—the One who will never let you go, who can keep you through the darkest night until the dawn.
God, You are big enough to hold the world in Your hands and loving enough to care about the smallest details in our lives. When we’re anxious, You bring peace. When we’re afraid, You give courage. When we’re unsure, You provide confidence. We release our concerns to You now and entrust ourselves to Your love.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What Scripture brings you peace or reminds you that He will never let you go? Write it down or share with us today.
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Holley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. Her devotional What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days includes 52 devotions based on Psalms that will help weary women remember that God is faithful, we’re all in this together and there’s a good plan for our lives.