Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. -Psalm 4:7, 8 (KJV)
I have often thought how there are times when the most productive pursuit we can follow is to rest. Lack of sleep, rest, and what is known as “down time” is wrecking peoples’ peace of mind and in some instances destroying their health. Life throws at us all sorts of pressures, problems, headaches, and frustrations. Failure to develop positive coping strategies can result in disaster. All too often I see people falling emotionally beneath the weight of their personal struggles and the pressure of daily life. Like me, you may have read of the recent epidemic of air-traffic controllers who have been fired for sleeping on the job. Such situations become the fodder for late-night TV comedians, yet we know sleeping on the job when you are supposed to be directing airplanes in for landing is no laughing matter.
No doubt you are under a great amount of stress. However, the good news is according to God’s Word the Lord will place His peace in our hearts even during the most stressful times of life. The Lord will place gladness in our hearts in abundance equal to a successful harvest. As we work our way through nerve-racking situations the Lord will empower us to rise up and walk forward in faith. Will there be times when we feel we are breaking under the pressure? Part of the human condition means we will at times suffer the dark forebodings which daily war against our souls.
Take heart, do not give up. Stop and spend time in God’s Word. Pray and seek the Lord as never before. Arise before daylight, just like Jesus, and seek the Lord in quiet prayer and meditation. God has promised to be our refuge and help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). Rejoice in the Lord, for the hopeless situation can still turn out for the good. Daily time alone with God will lead us to a deeper understanding of the Lord being our Savior and help. We can take the position of Jeremiah the Prophet who even in the midst of terrible suffering knew that in the Lord there was still hope. “The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” (Lamentations 3:25, 26).
Salvation in Christ is ours, and God’s deliverance will come. However, we must be willing to trust the Lord and wait upon Him. The Lord will turn our grief into joy, our sorrow into laughter, and our groaning into shouts of praise. Keep looking up!