Not Sleep, or Asleep, Always Keeping

 “I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.” Psalm 121:1-8

“When he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.  And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’  And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  And the men marveled, saying, ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?'” Matthew 8:23-27

Help and keeping come from the Lord, who does not slumber, yet sleeps. The omniscient One is always near, ever-watching, serene and in control, and when we stay our minds on Him, He keeps us in perfect peace. He is always vigilant, watching over us to support, strengthen, and preserve, yet He rests secure that His very providence rules wind and waves. We stumble and swoon, and sway in storms, but He reigns. (2 Chronicles 16:9a; Psalm 34:15; Isaiah 26:3)

The Lord who keeps our going out and coming in actually orders it. Sometimes He takes us right into storms of heartache, loss, or injustice, so we know Him better as guard and keeper. Sometimes He dictates hot strikes of evil to return us to His shade. If He has control in our life swamp of storms and is serene, then so can we be alongside our divine Keeper.

Am I trudging in the lowlands, aggravated or downtrodden at present discomforts and troubles, but unwilling to turn my attention skyward? What decisions, or threats, or disappointments, storm toss my peace of mind, engulfing me in worry or fear? Would I, in faith, go to Jesus who rides the storms with me, and take shelter in His protection and calm? (Deuteronomy 33:26)

“O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home:

Under the shadow of your throne
your saints have dwelt secure;
sufficient is thine arm alone,
and our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
or earth received its frame,
from everlasting Thou are God,
to endless years the same.

A thousand ages in your sight
are like an evening gone,
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
be Thou our guard while life shall last,
and our eternal home!” ~Isaac Watts (1719)


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