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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sleepless Ramblings

"Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.  You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.  I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel.  My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you--I whom you have delivered.  My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion." Psalm 71:20-24

There are some nights that I have a hard time sleeping.  Yeah, sure, it doesn't help that I stay up ridiculously late reading, watching tv or just hanging out on Pinterest.  (If you're considering getting an account, walk away now.  It's a wonderful, beautiful, mind-boggling time waster that you won't be able to get away from!)  But sometimes, I can't sleep because my hypersensitive hearing kicks in, flipping the switch on my overactive imagination from "standby" to "overdrive".  I was discussing this with a friend tonight and was presented with the brilliant (and "duh Angel") idea to take a verse of Scripture, memorize it, and repeat it over and over until the fear subsides.  Seriously, why didn't I think of that?  That's a totally me thing to suggest!  *insert embarrassed face here*

So I started flipping through my Bible, trying to remember passages or verses that really struck a nerve with me when I was scared or just having a bad day.  I went to Habakkuk 3 and Zephaniah 3 before heading to the book of Psalms, because honestly, we all know that's the mother lode of verses targeting fear and uncertainty.  I turned pages, not really going to any particular chapter, just looking for underlines and highlights (after all, my Bible is like a coloring book with purpose)!

Then I got to Psalm 71.  It begins with "In you, Lord, I have taken refuge..."  Of course that was gonna pull me in!  As I read on, phrases like "deliver me" and "save me" jumped out, pulling on my shirt sleeves, (figuratively, of course, how creepy would it be if words literally jumped off of a page and pulled on your clothes?), telling me to read on.  There were many verses that I was drawn to, yet I still felt empty.  There was something else I needed from this chapter, and I needed to be patient and intentionally read every word to find the meaning God had for me in that moment.

Then, yank!  Verse twenty: "Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up."  If that wasn't the protein bar of a verse I needed, I didn't know what was.  God spoke to me directly through that verse.  He said, (paraphrasing my feelings), "My daughter, these torments you experience are so that my glory can be proclaimed.  I brought you through the robbery; I will bring you through this."  These "night terrors" I experience some nights aren't fun in the least, but they aren't going to destroy me, even though I sometimes feel that way.  Because God will restore me and I will praise Him for His faithfulness, even though I don't always feel restored.  That's what faith is for.  That's what trust means.

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