As I sat in the steamy bathroom with my little one, holding him close to ease his fear while the coughing wracked his little body, I remembered. “Lord, heal this little boy. Give him relief. Calm his body and spirit.” I remembered that each of my children has had a few bouts with croup and always in the middle of the night. I remembered the words of Psalm 63.
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me…
My child longed for comfort and rest and relief. I longed to give these to him. He was satisfied to just be held in the shadow of my arms. He clung to me.
Many, many nights I have called to God, through the watches of the night, on my bed. There is something very lonely about the middle of the night. There is silence, stillness, waiting for the morning.
During a dark season of my life I literally clung to this verse on a notecard or clutched my very small bible to my chest turned to this psalm in the middle of a panic attack, in the middle of the night.
I recall this psalm when my thoughts are anxious about things out of my control.
I remember God is powerful and He upholds me when I am with a sick child in the middle of the night. We have a Father who never sleeps nor slumbers when the world does. He works all shifts---all watches of the night.
When I settle in with this psalm, I am stilled and can find rest eventually.
Under the shadow of His wings.
If you find yourself awake during the watches of the night, remember He is there. Remember His power as He worked in the past, remember He is our help. It is His right hand that upholds us.
Lord, thank you for your steadfastness. We praise your power and faithfulness to us and to all generations before. Help us remember to call on you during any watch of the night. In Jesus’ name, Amen.