Daily D – Psalm 145:13
Psalm 145:13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does. (NLT)
I awoke in a hospital this morning.
I endured a sleep test last night. This means a helpful technician named Laura placed wires and sensors on my head, throat, chest, and legs, placed me in an uncomfortably hard bed with painfully thin pillows, in a building full of new sounds and lights coming from odd places, and told me to rest in peace.
Guess how well that went.
Falling asleep normally takes about five minutes. After an hour or so without sleep, even though I am still catching up from our vacation last week, I gave up, got up, and started all over again. The hard bed made my torn rotator cuff ache. This caused my elbow to feel like it was on fire. My back reminded me how my three bulging disks require wrapping in softer bedding. My surgically-repaired neck snapped, crackled, and popped its displeasure.
Sleeping without the CPAP mask left me with a throat on fire from snoring. I think I better work from home this morning so that I don’t fall asleep behind the wheel. Even now, my pillow and comforter call my name.
The second half of Psalm 145:13 says, “The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.” Textual notes indicate these words might not have been part of the original psalm. Read the first twelve verses and the first half of verse 13 and notice how well they fit even if they were added by a monk fresh off of a good night’s rest on his narrow bed in his simple cell in a monastery in the middle of nowhere.
A narrow bed in a simple cell in a monastery in the middle of nowhere sounds pretty good right now. There’s no telling how creative I could be if I had a good long nap.
Preliminary news from the sleep study indicates I no longer have obstructive sleep apnea. I do snore like a freight train but am in no danger of suffocating in my sleep unless I do not wear my CPAP mask and my wife uses my pillow to silence me permanently. She’s too nice for that. A few words of complaint and a sharp elbow is about as mean as she gets.
Eye exams over the last two years have resulted in a decrease in the strength of my lenses both in frames and those placed ever so carefully on the surface of my eyes. I was feeling pretty good about this until the doctor stated this is due to the fact that I am developing cataracts and will require surgery in a few years.
I choose to celebrate good medical news in anyway I can get it. I choose to thank God for keeping his promises and being gracious in all he does. He doesn’t promise me good health all the way to the end. He does promise to be with me in it all, whatever “in it all” includes.
As Dave Barry helpfully wrote years ago, I intend to Stay Fit and Healthy Until I’m (Your) Dead. I trust God to shepherd me along life’s timeline now as he did when I was learning to walk, learning to get up again, learning to lie down in peace and sleep (Psalm 4:8). I trust his kindness in all things at all times, even sleep-deprived nights and the promise of more surgery.
Lectio 365 last night included Psalm 149:5:
“Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them.
Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.”
Singing for joy as I lie on my bed sounds good. I can’t wait. (Yawn)
Lectio 365 also reminds me each evening of Psalm 4:8:
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”
I will lie down and rest peacefully until that day when I rest in peace knowing our Father in heaven will give me restorative rest and keep me safe evening by evening, and forever.
Our Father, thank you for the gift of sleep. Empower me to luxuriate in it evening by evening as I prepare to work from a place of rest rather than resting from my work. I want to awaken day by day refreshed by your grace so that I may know your peace throughout out my days as surely as I know it during those hours of restoration. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”