The One Who Never Sleeps
From Psalm 121
Mom did the best she could. It was the night of my accident. My femur was shattered in multiple places, and the pain and shock of it all had sent my leg into spasms. I needed morphine to keep my body still, but I also needed sleep. Mom sat by my side all night, making sure I got the doses I needed and keeping me calm with her voice. She sang hymns for hours.
But about five o’clock, she fell asleep. I had too. Shortly after, when the morphine wore off, my leg spasms returned in an instant. The jolting pain—and my immediate scream—woke us both.
Mom did the best she could, but she’s human, like me. She needs sleep, like me. She can do only so much. This is true of every earthly relationship on which we so desperately lean.
Our fathers may want to protect us. Our mothers may want to prevent every tear. Our spouses may want to cure us. Our friends and grandparents and mentors may want to step in and help. But we’re human, and that means we have limitations. So no matter how much we care or how much we may want to set things right, we can do only so much.
Psalm 121 speaks of God as the One who never sleeps: “He will not let you be defeated. He who guards you never sleeps” (v. 3). This is significant because every other living thing on earth requires sleep. Every mother. Every father. Every spouse. Every best friend. Every policeman. Every armed guard. Every preacher. Every pastor. Every good-intentioned neighbor. Every single one of us—
That’s why, when this psalm asks, “Where does my help come from?”, the quick answer is “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (vv. 1-2). Questions will come at different points throughout our lives. Problems will arise. At times, sharp waves of pain will return to overwhelm us again and again. We will need someone to lean on.
Lean on the One who never sleeps.
Don’t get me wrong—your loved ones were given to you for a reason. Treasure them. Lean on them. Be thankful for their love and support. But realize, at the end of the day, the One you need to lean on most fully is the Lord.
He is the only One who can handle all of it—every hour of every day. He is the only One awake, aware, and able to help no matter how long it’s been or how dark the night has become. He’s awake even when you aren’t. He’s working even when you’ve lost the energy to ask for His help.
Choose God as your guard, meaning go to Him. Seek His help. Do what He says. “The Lord will protect you from all dangers; he will guard your life. The Lord will guard you as you come and go, both now and forever” (vv. 7-8).
Next Week’s Reading: Psalm 123–129.