“My heart also instructs me in the night seasons…” (Psalm 16:7)
The year 2020 has been as confounding as any year we have ever imagined. No one would have ever expected the onset of a global pandemic and all its economic impact. So how do we get ready to exit this challenging year and prepare ourselves for what is ahead?
We take a lesson from David of the Hebrew Bible about getting a good night’s sleep.
There are many psalms that were written from times of peril and crisis. Psalm sixteen is a wonderful psalm relating how David found the secret of contentment and great gladness even in pressing times and how his relationship with God afforded him a measure of peace.
David, much like us, was in a perilous situation. On the run. His life in constant danger. His family and life coming apart at the seams.
Psalm 16 strikes me because it encapsulates the human predicament: We often stay up late into the night trying to figure out how to handle our problems. Wondering where the money is coming from; stressing over how to make sure the kids are being educated in a virtual environment. Will my job be the next one furloughed? These are all questions that besiege our mind and spirit at night, when the circumstances of our lives are dark and murky, and our way forward is not readily apparent.
So, what do we do? How do we cope as 2020 winds down and a new year approaches?
Do what this psalmist did: Trust God. Go to sleep.
And when the morning comes, do these three things:
Wake up with a sense of purpose and expectation. Know that God is working all things together for your good. Your job is to wake up and claim the brand-new future and all its possibilities with a spirit of courage and gratitude.
Pray up to fortify your spiritual person. The forces which first attack us are of a spiritual nature – they are the incessant voices that tell us we have been abandoned and left to tend to our own. Prayer is the believer’s direct connection to greater strength, direction, and comfort. Get your dose of it early in the morning.
Stay up because that is where you belong in Christ. When you wake up with purpose and are prayed up in the Spirit, staying up is just a formality. You will adopt what I call the believer’s posture for success – feet forward, shoulders squared, back straight, chin up and breathe into the possibilities!
2020 may have bruised you but it did not break you!
There are some things we just cannot figure out – we must let them work out. Yes, it is important to strategize, to make plans, to literally reinvent yourself in today’s perilous climate. Especially if your money is funny and your change is strange!
But remember the wise words of Les Brown: if you fall, try to land on your back – because if you can look up you can get up!
Wake up. Pray up. Stay up.
Make this your theme as 2020 ends and a new year and new you draw near.