Shadows of Peace

With a baby that is still fairly young, one struggle in my house is sleep! We don’t always get as much sleep as we’d like, and we’re always trying to create the conditions that enable our daughter to learn to rest well. Lately, our daughter has struggled to sleep on her own—specifically, she only wants to sleep when mom or dad is holding her. Presumably she feels safe when she’s held by mom or dad, and she feels insecure when she’s not being held.

From a baby’s perspective, being held by a parent probably is the safest place in the world. But a mom and dad know that the protection they can provide is limited; while a parent might want to protect a child from all harm, as humans we cannot prevent all misfortune and danger. The truth is that security is found in only one place: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).”

The peace that a baby finds in the arms of mom or dad is a partial, illusory peace; it feels secure, but true peace and security comes only from God. This is a reality that babies can’t understand; adults can understand it, but unfortunately we often forget it. We often find comfort in illusory forms of peace—we feel secure in our homes, or safe because we have a job, or at peace because we have good health. We take comfort in these sources of stability, and we forget how deceptive they can be; we begin to assume that these sources of peace will always be there. But homes can be damaged, jobs can be lost, and health can deteriorate. It is the Lord alone who makes us dwell in safety.

Do you remember where true safety is found? Or do you find yourself caught up in momentary shadows of God’s true peace? Take a moment to pray and recommit your life to God’s hands; declare with the psalmist: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).”

—Andrew Garnett

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