Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
I awaken gently in the middle of this warm August night. The room is dark, and I am alone with my thoughts, with my troubles, and with my God. He speaks to my heart and in the stillness of the night, He gently but firmly deals with areas of my stubborn self-will and disobedience. As David wrote in Psalm 51, my sin is ever before me. He knows my weaknesses and the sins which so easily entangle me and trip me up (Hebrews 12:1). I read verse one of Psalm 51: “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. He reminds me that I am free – that He has taken those sins upon Himself on the Cross, and paid for them Himself. I have heard these words hundreds of times, but their mercy and love are fresh and new this night. I (yet again) ask for His forgiveness, and He wraps me in it and holds me close.
I pour out myself to Him – telling Him all the things on my mind, all the things that are unsettled and making me anxious and afraid. My Father, my Lord... my Friend listens and listens as no other can in these most-alone times in the wee hours of the morning. The tension drains from me as I am heard and understood, and I find the rest and peace only He can give me.
It’s now 3am and He blesses me with sleepiness once more. The crickets sing their lullaby in the distance as I settle my head against the pillow, breath a deep sigh of comfort, and drift off to sleep safe in the Good Shepherd’s care.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
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