Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Seek intimacy

We've taken a wide detour from Psalm 63 into the land of discontent. So let's review.

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you." Psalm 63:1-5.

The question was--what are we to be seeking? God's presence, to remember his blessings and be grateful for his gifts, big and small. That led to seeking contentment. Let's read on.

"On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." vs. 6-8.

Your bed is an intimate place. Guests aren't invited there, not even your closest friends. It is a place where we are most comfortable, most uninhibited, and also most vulnerable. If we're married, we share a bed with our husband. Maybe you share your bed with your small child on occasion. Your bed is a private place. Is God in your bed?

In this Psalm, David sounds like he has insomnia. What do you do when you can't sleep? New moms are awake a lot at night. At an older age, women tend to have more problems with sleeplessness. The night can be a time when our circumstances look most grim, when fears take flight and swoop and soar, when mistakes rise up and condemn us. The enemy can have a heydey--or we can spend this time with our Lord.

Arielle used to sleep with us when she first came home because she was terrified to be alone. In the dark and fearful night she needed to be enveloped between her loving parents in the most secure of all places, our bed. She clung to us and we sheltered her and kept her safe. Being alone with our thoughts when darkness descends on us can also be terrifying. But we can cling to Jesus. Invite him into the deepest parts of your soul. Pour out your anxieties, fears and regrets. He will be there to comfort you and fill you with peace.

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8.

I love the old hymn "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." Michael Card has a beautiful version of this song, first written in 1740 by Charles Wesley. Here are the first two verses:

"Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high,
Hide me, O my Savior hide,
Till the storm of life is past,
Safe into the haven guide, O receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee,
Leave, O leave me not alone, still support and comfort me,
All my trust in thee is stayed,
All my help from thee I bring,
Cover my defenseless head, with the shadow of thy wing."

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