‘You discern my going out and my lying down…when I awake, I am still with You.’ 

(Psalm 139: vv.3 & 18b., N.I.V.)  ‘On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night.’ (Psalm 63: v.6, N.I.V.)

Are you an habitual early riser, catching the elusive morning ‘worm’ of work, imagination, or exercise ?  Or perhaps you prefer the quietude of late evening, when others have retired for the night?  For some, a pattern of nocturnal wakefulness can prove an unwelcome burden that leads to fatigue.

King David, who wrote many of the psalms, experienced all of the above. Yet, he was able to declare that God’s presence remained the one constant throughout his eventful life. Twenty-four hours a day, God is on duty.  However, David had to learn the importance of turning his thoughts towards God when sleep refused to come.  

It is one thing to state that God is alert to our circumstances. After all, what kind of God would He be if He ignored us?  It is quite another thing to remember that God does not impose His will upon those who do not respond to His overtures of love. It never ceases to sadden me when God is blamed for turning a deaf ear to those who refuse to pray to Him. It is rather like breaking telephone contact with a relative and complaining that she never speaks to you! 

Today, Christian disciples learn that God’s presence remains with them whatever life throws at them, day or night. 

Nevertheless, like David, they need to develop a habitus of prayer: trusting God’s Bible promises, seeking His reassurance and help, and turning to those who can offer spiritual truth and assistance. 

Those who are not yet Christians can receive this same confidence through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Cliff Jackson

Okehampton Baptist Church