I am sated as with a rich feast,
I sing praises with joyful lips
when I call You to mind upon my bed,
when I think of You in the watches of the night;
for you are my help,
and in the shadow of Your wings
I shout for joy.
When anxiety comes to visit insomnia keeps it company. I am sure that I am not the only one, I have heard many that can’t sleep during difficult times. Your mind spins with so many things, to do list, regrets, memories, fears, all taking turns in the watches of the night.
It is on those nights that I am thankful for this Psalm.
I learned it some time ago while leading morning prayer in Cannon Chapel. I was a seminary student and would wake up early to lead those who gathered in chanting the psalms. Little did I know that the simple chanting would seal this Psalm in my memory and its commitment to memory would serve me well during difficult times.
Here lies the power of these songs. They speak of the human condition, of our struggle to speak to God, of the assurance that God is always with us. So many nights when sleep would not come and anxieties were taking over I would chant this psalm, “O Lord, you are my God . . .”
The singing served as a king of lullaby that soon would soothe my soul and begin to bring rest to my body. In a very real way, its words would help me rest on “the shadow of [God’s] wings.”