Sunday, December 11, 2011

BIBLE PICK 'EMS - In the Middle of the Night

It's dark.

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)

I cried.

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 misconstruedjust 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 Goda 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!"


  1. I hate those types of nights, Sharon. Been there, done that so I know exactly what you are talking about. I'm glad though you chose to get out your Bible and do your emergency Bible pick-ems. And what a great place that God led you to! Not sure how he does that, but that is his awesomeness, but he does lead us right where he wants us in his word if we are trying to live in obedience to him.

    I totally agree with you about the context of reading Scripture and making sure we don't misconstrue it to our particular need or desire, but I have had those scriptures like this one, Sharon, that God did speak to me regarding a particular situation I was stressing over.

    Psalm 36:5 Your love O Lord reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

    I read that one the morning in 2005 I was flying with son to go and visit family in the DC area. I hate, absolutely hate, to fly. Hubby would be joining us a day later but it was just me and then 15 y/o son. When I read that faithfulness to the skies part I said "thank you Lord" because I knew he was there with us and whatever happened he would guide us through. Obviously we got there safely and back :)

    Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. I read that 12/18/2006 the day my mom was being buried. Long story but I didn't go to the funeral. I read this at about 6:15 a.m. in California; her memorial service was going to start 10 a.m. in Pennsylvania, three hours time difference. I was of course in grief and sadness and thinking about the funeral so those words just comforted me and knew God was there with my sister/family and that my mom's death was precious to him because she did indeed love him (five years later and I still tear up.....)

    There are so many other ones, too many to list but God always does comfort me through his word.

    glad you were able to go back to sleep and sleep soundly the rest of the night!!


  2. HI Sharon,

    It is so great when that happens - I can't think of an example now, but it has happened to me, more than once and you just know God is speaking to you personally.

    God Bless Nita

  3. Several years ago I discovered that when I wake up in the middle of the is often the Lord who has opened my eyes! So when I wake up, I ask Him what He wants to say to me. I admit that I sometimes forget that, and toss and turn for a while before I start to pray or praise or turn on the light and read His Word. But I always discover that He has a word for me in those quiet hours of the night!

    Blessings, Joan

  4. I hardly ever have a problem sleeping - but the last two weeks I have awakened around 2am and it is hard to go back to sleep. I kept thinking at that time about a lot of little worry type things. But when I see I just can't handle it - I really try to turn everything over to the Lord. I don't know how HE can be that strong to take all of our worries and problems but HE can.

  5. I know those nights too! But what a precious 'accidental' finding of just the word you needed, at just the right time. How many times He has given me a verse or a thought or a promise, and put to rest a worry or fear. I would love to just rest in that all the time, but it's a lesson that is learned again and again. I think I might be a slooooow learner!


  6. This was definitely one of those times when God had a specific Word for you in a specific situation. Because I struggle with insomnia, I understand this so well that middle of the night cry.

    I can't tell you the number of times I have remember that Psalm 121 passage in the middle of the night and been so thankful that he was a God who never sleeps. There's a song that goes with that one, and I love to sing it.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)