Sometimes the solution is simply to pray. “Be anxious for nothing,” the apostle Paul told us in Philippians 4, "but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” The result? “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
I can’t count the number of times I’ve reminded myself of this passage in the wee hours of the morning. It invariably gives me peace for at least a few minutes, until my personal bugaboos creep into my thoughts once again.
What’s the solution?
For me, it’s meditating on God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible—especially His character and His promises—and then taking Him up on His word through prayer.
Specifically, I ponder:
1. His omnipotence. He is all powerful, after all. Which means that “With God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
2. His sovereignty. As the Creator of the universe, the Lord has supreme authority and complete control over it all, from the functioning of the tiniest mechanisms in our cells to the traits, position and behavior of every last star and galaxy. Matthew 10:29 puts this concept into terms we humans can easily grasp: “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.”
3. His omniscience. He knows it all, including everything about us as individuals. He knows about that dormant cell that’s going to wreak havoc in Mrs. Anderson's body 23 years from now. He knows all about the worries that consume Mr. Zemke, including what each concern's outcome will be. And He knows every last thing about you, down to each thought you've ever entertained.
In fact, God knows us better than we know ourselves. As King David pointed out in Psalm 139:16, from the moment he was conceived, “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
4. His love. Next time you find yourself tossing and turning, remember this: “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16).
Want proof? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). He so loves us that God the Son, Jesus Himself, suffered and died on the cross to pay the penalty for mankind's entire sin debt. And He invites us all to avail ourselves of this payment simply by repenting and trusting in Him.
As a result, in the Bible He commands us, about 365 times in almost as many different ways, not be afraid. My personal favorite: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).
In a nutshell, then, God is omnipotent, sovereign, and omniscient, and He is love. Which means that, at the very least:
- He is able to do absolutely anything in your life, including changing your circumstances.
- He is willing to do so, in order to achieve His purposes.
- No matter how frightening or upsetting it may be to us today, with our oh-so-limited understanding, everything He does will work together to the eternal good of all His children.
So next time you’re tossing and turning, remember that He is allowing those distressing circumstances, for His perfect purposes, according to His perfect timing. Take some time to meditate on Romans 8:28: "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
By all means, go boldly to His throne of grace, bare your soul and ask Him for strength, wisdom and peace (Hebrews 4:16). Then follow King Solomon’s advice in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Sweet dreams, dear reader.