It's 2:00 AM.
I can't sleep.
There are so many thoughts, so many feelings, reeling around in my head right now.
I'm scared – I feel alone.
Oh Lord, I need to feel Your presence. I need Your peace. I need to rest. Please speak to me.
This is how I felt one night last week. Every now and then, I get a night of insomnia. Sometimes I fall asleep OK, but then I wake up later and can't get back to sleep. But, more often than not, I just can't fall asleep in the first place. I can't shut off the turmoil in my mind. I can't calm my nerves, and worries assault me.
I get panicky as I see the minutes, and then the hours, crawl by. It's so easy to feel vulnerable and small at these times.
So, I did an *emergency* "Bible Pick 'Ems."
I opened my Bible, and found myself in the beginning of 1 Kings 5 – (my "Bible Pick 'Ems"policy is to read only the two pages I have turned to, by the way). So, I'm thinking to myself: "OK, Lord, I trust that You have something here for me. But I'm in 1 Kings, Lord. I think You've got your work cut out for you!"
And sure enough, as I started reading, there was a listing of the governors who served under Solomon, and a geographical account of his kingdom's boundaries. Oh, and a rousing shopping list of the daily food requirements for the palace. And a rather glowing report of all of Solomon's great accomplishments.
So, NOW I'm thinking to myself, "OK, Lord, this isn't really helping me much here."
He said, "Keep reading."
And then, all of a sudden, there it was. JUST what I needed to hear:
"But now the LORD my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well." (1 Kings 5:4)
Yes, if you want to be technical, Solomon relayed these words in a message to King Hiram of Tyre. It was Solomon's way of letting Hiram know that his father, David's, work of war and conquest was finished. David had been unable to build "until the LORD gave him victory over all his enemies" (verse 3). Solomon is telling Hiram that there is peace in the land – and now it's time to get started on a certain little Temple-building project!
That is the context of today's verse – and I am not diminishing the very real necessity of reading Scripture in context. The Word of God should not be twisted or misconstrued – just because we want to fit a square peg into a round hole that suits us better.
However, it is the WORD of God.
And I fully believe that God can use it to speak to a very real need at a very certain time. And, at 2:00 in the morning, this verse washed over me like a lullaby. I was overcome by the faithfulness and mercy of God – a Father who would lead me to those completely calming words – right smack dab in the middle of 1 Kings.
Instantly soothed, I began to think about them.
Word by word, here's how it spoke to my very weary heart:
BUT – (in spite of the thoughts and feelings reeling around in my head, God had something ELSE to say to me)
NOW – (not tomorrow, but NOW, at 2:00 AM)
THE LORD MY GOD – (the One and Only LORD, who is MY God)
HAS GIVEN ME PEACE – (serenity, calm, stillness, quiet, tranquility)
ON EVERY SIDE – (peace with Himself through His Son Jesus Christ, and peace in every circumstance through the power of His Holy Spirit)
I HAVE NO ENEMIES – (if God is for me, who can ever be against me?)
AND ALL IS WELL – (God is still on His throne, He is still in control – now, and for eternity, it is well with my soul)
Yes, the perfect words, at just the perfect time.
I turned over and fell quickly asleep – for I rested in the shadow of His wings.
He is so good to me.
How I love Him…
"I lay down and slept…for the LORD was watching over me." (Psalms 3:5)
"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe." (Psalms 4:8)
"…the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he…never slumbers or sleeps. The LORD himself watches over you!" (Psalms 121:3-5)
How has the Lord spoken to you with just the right words, at just the right time?
"When in doubt, search God out!"