I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, that he may hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched
out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.
I think of God, and I moan;
I meditate, and my spirit faints.
You keep my eyes from closing;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old,
and remember the years of long ago.
I commune with my heart in the night;
I meditate and search my spirit.....
I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord;
I will remember your wonders of old.
I will meditate on all your work,
and muse on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
(New Revised Standard Version)
Anyone in lockdown with a small child knows they often wake in the night having had a nightmare, and need consoling before they can go back to sleep. However, many adults have also had trouble sleeping during the last few months, waking in the night with their mind racing and innumerable fears that may seem ridiculous in the daytime, but half-awake seem perfectly sensible. Those living alone worry about their family or who will look after them if they become ill; those without a job worry about paying the bills; those with children worry about keeping them occupied or sending them back to school; those who are self-employed or own a business wonder if they will ever get back to normal work; and those with families abroad worry about the situation in another country. In the daytime we can keep some of our concerns under control, but in the night they assume enormous proportions.
In Psalm 77 the psalmist cries out to God in his trouble, and even worries that He might not hear him. Finally he turns from his fears to think about God and all that He has done for him in the past, and is comforted.
Sometimes we experience these night terrors, and maybe we can't sleep. This is the time for trust in God, and a profitable conversation with Him. Try thanking Him for all He has done for you, or else think of others in need and ask God's help for them. Start with the world situation, then narrow it down to your country, your village or town, and your family and friends. If you're still awake ask God's help for your own concerns.
when I lie awake at night
and cannot sleep,
when it feels as though I
have the troubles of the world
on my shoulders,
and you seem far away,
then help me to remember
your loving kindness to me
and those for whom I pray.