How one Psalm can bring stillness to our soul
This week, I’ve been feeling a bit blue. There are headlines in every turn of the social stream, in every hashtag of sorts, in every bulletin, television app, or post. We are saturated with media and heartache. We are witnessing the calamities of others right before our eyes.
Some would say that the fourth chapter of Psalms was written by David, rejoicing in God’s protection and peace. Read:
- Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
- O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.
- But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.
- Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
- Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.
- There be many that say, Who will shew us any good?Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
- 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.
As this season becomes more and more perilous for the life of the Christian, as the attacks become more and more relentless—either towards the homeschooling community, the biblical family, the believers far and abroad, or the institution of marriage—we must take comfort in the Lord, as David did. We must be still and commune with our own heart upon our bed. We can turn off all the noise in our head and instead stand in awe of our almighty Father, and recognize that we should sin not (verse 4). We need to cease from being anxious and fretful but become thoughtful and confident in Him.
This Psalm of David is a call for help—a prayer for relief from a calamity, perhaps a drought. It expresses the confidence we can place in God during any one of our calamities because He will listen. It is never in vain to call upon the Lord even during those moments when we fall short of His standards—and we always do. As believers, God has forgiven us and will listen even when we may presume He’s not hearing us. Take comfort in knowing we are His and are set apart; therefore, we can find rest in Him.
There are times throughout my day when the noise in my thoughts is too loud for me to hearken to Him. I am mostly occupied with my own obligations, my projects, my plans, my schedule. I can be too sequential for my own good, and to some degree, that is fine, as God is a God of order. But in the throes of motherhood with projects that seem to never end, I need to be still and thank God for what He gives. When I do this, it’s almost certain that I can experience a peace and a gladness that certainly comes from His grace. I can shake off the spears of the enemy who attempts to pierce my soul with sour news of one thing or another, and the relief I get from just knowing that He lives and that our God is with us puts gladness in my heart (verse 7).
These days, that is all I need. That’s what gets my head on the pillow at night, and helps me rest away from the world that runs and slings mud at every turn. I sleep and rest and dwell in His loving safety.