In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)
When the kids were little, we used to do a lot of camping. Nothing fancy, just a little dome tent and sleeping bags. We were camping in a park in Texas in the early fall, and as was often the case, we got there late and set up in the dark. Sometime in the middle of the night, the wind started the blow, the limbs were creaking, and small branches were falling to the ground. I got up to consider our situation, whether or not to put the kids in the car. By then the wind was really bending the trees.
As I crawled back into the tent, I saw how peacefully our kids were sleeping, and that’s when I remembered the above verse. So I followed their example, prayed a quick thank you, and went back to sleep.
This particular Psalm does not provide a whole lot of insight into David’s condition, although there is mention of those who seek to ruin his reputation. But in the previous Psalm, David’s situation is much more perilous: I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. (Psalm 3:5-6)
Are you willing to be so vulnerable, as to sleep in the Lord’s care, while surrounded by enemies? Can you trust Him that much? That’s a pretty big ask, so you may want to start small, like: “Give us this day our daily bread”. But as you learn to lean on Him and trust Him, you will discover with the Psalm writer: He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121:3, 4) He’s watching over you. So go ahead—sleep; rest. You’re safe.