Writing in fellowship with the Five Minute Friday crowd, on the word prompt, “Safe“…

I couldn’t get to sleep last night. My heart beat fast. The thoughts wound round and round and round inside my head, my breaths came quick, quick, quick.

Safe. If only I could feel safe.

I sat and tried to slow. I drew breath in, then exhaled deep, I counted slowly as I breathed. I searched for calming music, fastened it to my ears, my head. I closed my eyes, tried to picture lapping waves, a muted sunset on a shore, a grassy meadow, blades of green like hula skirts dancing in the breeze.

My shoulder muscles still felt tight, but it was better, just a bit.

Safe. That’s the thing. If only I could just feel safe. I could handle the rest of it.

The music wasn’t really working like I’d hoped.

I turned it off, sat still, and closed my eyes again.

I prayed. Psalm 4. Earnestly. “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness. You have relieved me in my distress. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer…”

I turned to Psalm 91, my Bible near me on the table by my side. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge, and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust…”

The words were going into my head, but my heart still pumped a faster pace than bedtime peace, those muscles still were taut.

Then it came to me–the suggested reading I’d been revisiting from last month’s retreat: John 14-17, specifically…

Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in me…” (John 14:1).

I sat back in my chair. “Oh, Lord!” I sighed, remembering times before when, like a child with a bundle in her hands, outstretched them out to give the burden up to a Daddy who could carry it, long and far and weightless to Him, and how He gave relief, release, back then…

I did that now, all those worries bundled up, I lifted up.

“Please take it, Lord.”

I did it once. I did it twice, and maybe thrice, and then at last, the burden left. I knew it lay in able hands. And now I thought that I might even manage to “both lay me down in peace and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Ps 4:8). [And I did.]

Sometimes it’s a struggle; my stubborn will just won’t let go. But struggling and calling Him to enable me and take the fret, eventually it comes: release and peace.

And how do I feel now? “Like a weaned child with his mother. Like a weaned child is my soul within me” (Ps 131:2), resting settled under the shadow of His wings (Ps 36:7; 91:4).

12 thoughts on “If Only I Could Feel Safe

  1. Whoa…you described many nights well!! Your post reminds me of the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”–“…o what peace we often forfeit, o what needless pain we bear, all bcs we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.” Sometimes in the dark of the night, it’s the hardest thing to surrender to prayer, but so worth it when He quiets our hearts.

    1. You’re so right, Amy! When it’s the most difficult is usually if not always when we need it the most. Well worth the struggle to get there!

  2. This is beautiful, Sylvia! It makes such a difference when we can hand it over to God and trust him to take care of us. It’s not something I always find easy either.

    1. Thank you, Lesley–it’s “the beauty of the Lord”! I have just re-instituted “the Worry Jar,” wherein I slip worries written on bits of paper–as I slip the worry into His hands. The idea being to let go of the thing I can’t do anything about, so that my fretful mind and heart are freed to figure out and do what I can! Blessings to you this week!

  3. Oh, how many nights (and days) have I been there, and still they continue. Seems like lately major personal upheavels are coming like a flood. I can’t seem to find relief. But He is not moved, for He is our safety. We are in the palm of His hand. He will take our budens, one at a time, one moment at a time. Beautiful post. #84 this week.

    1. Yes, I get this, Mary! See comment above about the “worry jar.” Sometimes it’s forced to swallow many a slip of fret poured out on paper. May God’s presence with you be very evident this week.

    1. Thanks for your gracious comment, Tara. I’ll be over for a visit today! God bless!

    1. So glad the post was there. It’s the kind of post I tend not to want to publish. Prayers for you, Candice.

  4. I had no reason not to feel safe, but as a teen ager, I remember attaching a long string to my light pull chain and holding on to it until I was safely in bed with my feet safely under the covers. – – Only then could I pull the string to turn off the light and feel safe enough to go to sleep. There seems to be terrors in the night, and I pray that all will be expelled and sent far away for you and others who may not for what ever reason not feel safe. Know that you are in the Father’s arms and his angels are watching over you. Love is sent your way.

    1. Ah, thank you for this Hazel, especially for your prayers. I wonder if there really was a reason not to feel safe, that you never identified… But, whether or not, God truly is the guardian of our souls, our lives, all of it, and yes, I have had very strong evidence of His angels doing protective things. Fear is dispelled. God is good.
      His best blessings upon you, Hazel. I have been thinking about you and the people around you and the scary time you have been experiencing lately with that dam out there and the overabundance of water. Hope it has stopped raining now!
      Prayers for you, too.

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