Posted by: Jo | May 6, 2016

Terrors of the Night

“You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.”

(Psalm 91:5 – 6)

image One night, last week, my husband in the middle of the night, suddenly shouted out in a loud voice, sat bolt upright and then jumped out of bed. Needless to say I also awoke with a series of possible scenarios racing through my head, ranging from expecting to see some intruder brandishing a weapon, to preparing myself to flee from the burning building. My husband then very sheepishly informed me he had just had a very frightening nightmare! Terror in the night! We have all experienced it in various forms and apparently generations before us have also been beset with this night time horror. I have often discussed this with my friends and puzzled over why as darkness descends and we lie down to sleep, worries overtake us and everything seems to take on a more threatening and menacing overtone.

How do we combat this sleep destroyer?

My source of help, for any sort of problem facing me, is to go back to God’s word. Scripture never shies away from any emotion experienced by mankind and especially in the Book of Psalms you will find the Psalmists honestly writing about what disturbs them. Psalm 91 is one of my favourites as it acknowledges the real terrors that can overtake us and then advises us to fill our minds with this beautiful mental picture of our Heavenly Father as a mother hen, protecting us.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Psalm 91:4)

One of the ways I have used when sleep evades me and worry overtakes, is to try to remember the many times the Lord has solved our problems in the past and then I either recite scripture or go over my favourite hymns (I do this silently as bursting into song during the night would certainly create a certain sort of terror for my husband!) I was delighted to find that the Psalmists also used this to ward of all that is threatening. In Psalm 77 the Psalmist after being very troubled in spirit for many verses, suddenly remembers firstly what a wonderful God we all have and then remembers how he has solved so many problems in the past. A great idea for us to follow as well.image

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77: 11 – 2)

Another Psalmist in Psalm 42 realises that we can take the love of the Lord with us in song for those dark times of night;

“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me- a prayer to the God of my life.” (Psalm 42: 8)

When we allow the Lord to take over those terrors of the night we wake the next morning with these words on our lips;

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22 – 23)

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Responses

  1. Oh so true Jo. When we are sleepless and worried Psalm 77 says it all. Thanks again old friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jo, you bring the psalms into our lives in such a meaningful way. I love the concept of Gid covering us with his feathers. May we all feel the warmth of his closeness this week.

    Like

  3. Thank you, Jo. Great words of comfort today.

    Liked by 1 person


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