I Hear Thy Voice
I hear Thy voice, dear Lord;
I hear it by the stormy sea
When winter nights are black and wild,
And when, affright, I call to Thee;
It calms my fears and whispers me,
“Sleep well, my child.”
I hear Thy voice, dear Lord,
In singing winds, in falling snow,
The curfew chimes, the midnight bell.
“Sleep well, my child,” it murmurs low;
“The guardian angels come and go,–
O child, sleep well!”
I hear Thy voice, dear Lord,
Ay, though the singing winds be stilled,
Though hushed the tumult of the deep,
My fainting heart with anguish chilled
By Thy assuring tone is thrilled,–
“Fear not, and sleep!”
Speak on–speak on, dear Lord!
And when the last dread night is near,
With doubts and fears and terrors wild,
Oh, let my soul expiring hear
Only these words of heavenly cheer,
“Sleep well, my child!”
Rest. Perhaps our most important renewable resource, but one that seems forever….almost replenished. If I had a gas tank gauge for how rested I feel, I imagine the average level for a good week would be 70-80% full. Some of you probably see that number and think, “Wouldn’t THAT be nice!”
With restedness being such a sought-after state of being, you would think we would be a lot better at it, though. We take Melatonin, try journaling before bed, work out so we are nice and tired by nightfall, meditate – and yet in some studies 65% of Americans reported not feeling energized and rested when they wake up. Thus, with the day inevitably beginning and our bodies and minds with a few cylinders not firing, we turn to coffee, Red Bull, or power naps to get us back on track.
Now, the “script flip” here is not that a closer relationship with God will help you sleep better. Sorry to disappoint. But I do think there is a different parallel to draw here.
Just like we won’t always wake up feeling refreshed mentally and physically every day, we will have days where we are just spiritually exhausted, too. Days where we go to Sunday School and the lesson just doesn’t seem fulfilling, or where we go to church and the music just doesn’t speak to you in the way you are craving.
To extrapolate the analogy, if our time together in worship is our spiritual version of a good night’s sleep, then the trick to a full spiritual energy gauge is finding our spiritual lattes and power naps to energize us throughout the week. Have some too-honest-for-group-prayer conversations with God on a morning walk. Find a small devotional book that you find encouraging and uplifting. Volunteer. Watch Ed’s MidWeek Moments, or listen to music that lifts your spirits.
Just like only you can really make your coffee the way you like it, your spiritual pick-me-ups might look nothing like the list above.
That’s ok, too.
But know this, you are allowed to be spiritually tired, and you are also allowed to have preference on how you are spiritually replenished.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Director of Music
First Presbyterian Church