You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. Psalm 119:114
One of my daughters gently opened my door in the middle of the night and said, “Momma, may I sleep in your bed?” I’m a super light sleeper so I instantly woke up, threw back the covers, and welcomed her into my embrace. It’s been a hard year for her and the past week has been particularly so. We have found that in the middle of the night, those thoughts in our heads can get particularly loud and insistent. Sometimes even when you are a teenager, you just need someone to be near you, to be held, to know you are not alone. Sometimes when you are an adult too.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
I used to feel sorry for my little ones when they were learning to sleep through the night. There they were all alone and probably a bit scared, and there I was with the comfort of another human beside me. I think that is one of the things I miss most about being married. All those feelings of security, warmth, and love you have when you let your guard completely down and sleep beside the one you’ve chosen to love for life. Oh how I miss that.
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. Psalm 59:16
When I have my sleepless nights and thoughts are bouncing around my brain like ping-pong balls in a metal room, I miss having the comfort of scrunching up to that special someone. So, when that happens to my daughters (who are all bigger than me at this point), I welcome the opportunity to offer them some comfort, a refuge from the storm raging in their hearts and minds, and a safe place.
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. Nahum 1:7
I’ve had my fair share of sleepless nights where my thoughts race and my heart follows suit. And in those moments, which more often than not, happen in the middle of the night, I’ve found God to be my safe place too. Some days and nights I’m better at letting Him be my refuge and strength than others. But I’m learning and I’m trying to teach my children too as well.
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. Proverbs 14:26
One thing God has shown me is the blessing of praying scripture back to God. I’ve been encouraging my children to turn verses into prayers. It’s a step toward peace when chaos seems to be reigning in our hearts and minds. The book of Isaiah has profoundly spoken to me over the years so I decided to speak it back to God as a reminder to me and Him of what He has said about me and to me. Here is one of my favorite ones:
Scripture Prayer – Isaiah 43:1-4
Father, you say you created and formed me. I don’t need to fear for you have redeemed me. You have called me by name; I am yours. When I pass through waters you will be with me, and when I pass through the rivers they will not sweep over me. When I walk through the fire, I will not be burned and the flames will not touch me. You are the LORD my God, the Holy One, my Savior. You have ransomed me because I am precious and honored in your sight and because you love me. You have redeemed my life. I will not be afraid for you are with me.
When I speak His scripture over me and my children, it helps. It means I have to take my eyes off of my circumstances and put them on Christ. For someone like me that always feels the need to do something, make something happen, fix things, it seems that “just” speaking scripture over a situation isn’t enough. How could that make a difference? Shouldn’t I have to do something more?
No, the answer is no There is power in the Word of God. It changes things. It changes me.
My trust grows and my peace increases. My fears become smaller and my courage strengthens. Things are re-framed. My vision is refocused on Him. My heart and my mind are settled.
When I speak scripture I’m speaking Jesus over my situation. Jesus who is the Word of God, who is peace, who is hope, who is the author and perfecter of my faith. Jesus who is my strength, my Savior, my friend. Jesus who loves me more than anyone.
He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Psalm 107:20
No matter what is going on in life…no matter how many difficult things are happening that discourage, hurt, baffle, and anger us…all the stupid stuff of life…in all of it, God is our refuge. He is our safe place to let go.
Scripture Prayer – Isaiah 41:10
Father, you say I do not need to be afraid because you are with me. I do not need to be dismayed because you are my God. You will strengthen me and help me. You will uphold me with your righteous right hand.