I had a terrible time falling asleep the other night. The face of a loved one flashed into my mind, and the fragility of life, the unpredictability of it, the sorrows that sometimes come unexpectedly — they all morphed together in this jolt of overwhelming fear. What if something were to happen to him? In these moments of tiredness, “what ifs” are pretty much a given for me, and they have a habit of turning into near-certainties. Fear grabbed my heart and squeezed it painfully. But God was gracious, and brought to mind a portion of a beautiful song, from a beloved book of songs. This song describes “the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments.”
Commandments. That was how the verse struck me — not a suggestion, but a command. The man who fears the Lord will not fear evil tidings. Therefore, as a woman who fears the Lord, I am not to lie awake worrying over “what ifs.” Philippians 4:8 tells us to dwell on “whatever is lovely.” My fear that particular night was not lovely.
With that reminder going through my mind, I rolled over and began dwelling on something that would qualify as a lovely thought. I imagined a happy ending for my newest novel, and sleep was once again a possibility. The command had become a lullaby.
I realize that there may be nights when it won’t be so easy. But if such a night ever comes, I know that the God who reminded me of His song will be there once again.
He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is upheld, he will not fear,
Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries.
Psalm 112:7 (NASB)