A beleaguered general called his troops together and announced, “We have good news and bad news. The bad news is, we are completely surrounded. The good news is, we can attack the enemy in any direction!”
Sometimes it seems we are attacked on all sides by stress and struggle. When you feel surrounded by things beyond your control, things you’re worried about, fear rises. Sometimes when you turn out the lights to go to bed at night, your mind also darkens and begins to race with “what ifs?” Knotty problems tighten in your thinking, and so does your chest. And often you can’t sleep.
As one put it, “Lord have mercy on me! I feel weak! O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord? How long? … I am worn out from all this groaning I have to do because of my situation. All night long I flood my bed with my weeping….” (Psalm 6:3-6).
So what keeps YOU up at night?
Sure, sometimes it’s the flu or a barking dog or whining baby. But we’re not just talking about loss of sleep, we’re talking about loss of peace. Just because we have tossed the 2012 calendar away and turned to 2013 doesn’t mean we are done tossing and turning ourselves. New Year, old fear. And some new worries as well, no doubt.
This weekend we are beginning a new series of messages called “What Keeps You Up At Night?” We want to figure out how to deal with our nocturnal nagging. And the worry that stays with you all day. What difference does faith make? What do I tell myself when I start freaking out about my kids? My health? My finances? The past? The future? How do I get more of God’s peace and presence?
At Mountain where I serve, we have a preaching and teaching team and we’d love to hear from you if you want to share something about what keeps you up at night. It will help guide us to the right sources of help from Scripture as we prepare messages over the next month. So if you want to talk about what keeps you up at night, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell in a few sentences what it is that pesters your peace. Then you can follow along and listen to the messages as they are posted on our website .
We want to be able to say with the Psalmist, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8). I guess this is one time that if you fell asleep during church it meant the sermon was good and worked.
If you’re a local, I hope you will invite someone to Mountain this weekend. I think it will be one of those experiences where the Spirit descends and touches every one with an open heart. Lord knows, we need the rest – and I don’t just mean sleep. I mean the rest our faith in a good God affords. I’m really excited about this message. So excited I could hardly sleep last night. J But that was probably because I was worrying about the Minnesota Vikings playoff game Saturday night.