Night Watch – Week of January 14, 2019

I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Psalm 121:1-4

When Jay was 3 years old, he had a seizure. He had not been sick, and he had never had a seizure before. When his mother came in his room to check on him before going to bed herself, she felt his body seizing uncontrollably. It was one of the few times in his father’s life that he ever dialed 911. The paramedics came and a trip to the ER followed, along with hours of tests and scans. Nothing abnormal was found. Doctors concluded that a virus had induced a high enough fever to cause the seizure, which the doctors explained was how the body resets itself. Jay’s parents were thankful that help came so quickly when they dialed 911 that night.

The words of Psalm 121 can be considered God’s 911. Open up to Psalm 121 for help in any and every struggle. Read about the One who loves his people Israel, which includes you, enough to watch over you at all hours of the day and night. The Maker of heaven and earth doesn’t take breaks or naps that prevent him from taking care of you. “He…will neither slumber nor sleep.”

Have you ever experienced insomnia? Statistics say that on any given night one in four Americans is experiencing insomnia. Chances are that at some point you have been the one lying awake. When we head to bed for the evening or wake up in the night, our brain turns to the thoughts of yesterday’s challenges and tomorrow’s possible difficulties. Worry. Anxiety. Stress. Call it what you like, but whether you realize it or not, those struggles are a result of trying to have control over the things that are in God’s control. When our failures haunt us, and our challenges overwhelm us, trying to carry those burdens ourselves will only leave us worse off by far. Doing better next time won’t cancel your guilt and no amount of stressing out about the future can change a single thing.

But you have a God who is in complete control. Lift your eyes and find your help in him. He calms your troubled heart filled with your failure by pointing your eyes to the cross of his Son who paid for every one of your mistakes. He calms your worried and anxious heart filled with the unknowns of tomorrow by reminding you that if he went to all the trouble of saving you eternally, he’s not going to forget to watch out for you tomorrow.

The Psalmist assures us that God does not slumber, he does not sleep. He is awake all night long, so he can be watching over everything. He does this so we can sleep. He is our watchman both at night and during the daylight hours.

How can we keep our hearts and minds on things above? Paul tells us. Remember that you have been raised with Christ. Christ has made you a brand-new person. He has made you a forgiven and living child of God. You have been raised with him.

That puts your day to day preoccupations into perspective. Only one reality is forever. Only one concern is eternal. Set your hearts on such things. As a resurrected child of faith find and take advantage of every opportunity to be in God’s Word and surround yourself with fellow Christians who can encourage and remind you of what is truly lasting and important.

Prayer: Dear Lord, you know that I worry over so many things – little things and big things. Remind me that I am not the one in control, but you are. You have everything planned for my good. Most importantly, you have sent your son Jesus to pay the debt for every one of my wrong doings. Keep my anxious heart from worrying, knowing that you are my watchman. In your name I pray. Amen.

A Question to Consider: What situations in your life are causing you to turn to your Lord for help so that you can sleep in peace? How could you use Psalm 121 and other verses from Scripture to remind you of the peace you have each day in Jesus?

Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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