It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep: Psalm 127:2
The Psalmist is describing a scenario common to all of us. There are times when the hand life deals us is difficult to cope with; sleep is affected, and our minds are tormented. There are many terms that describe this condition, but perhaps the most common is worry. One dictionary defines worry as “to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; to fret.” I think that is a pretty apt description of
worrying; to torment yourself. When we lay in bed, unable to sleep or rise up to pace the floor, filling our minds with what-ifs and worse case scenarios, we are really tormenting ourselves. It is as if we are waterboarding ourselves and wondering why we are suffering so greatly. The question is not whether we will face things that fill us with dread, concern, and anxiety; the question is how we will react. What is the proper response for the child of God when he is faced with things bigger than himself?
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.” First, notice that Solomon declares that worry is vain. The word vain means empty. In his other writings, he defined vanity as attempting to grab a handful of wind. Imagine the folly of taking a handful of cool air and placing it in your pocket for later in the day when the temperature rises. In the same way, it is foolish to worry because it is an empty endeavor. Worry cannot produce anything positive. Jesus put it like this, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”(Matthew 6:27). Worry will never produce growth. It will produce a deeper level of anxiety, making us irritable, incapable of performing our responsibilities, and can even produce adverse physical effects, like an ulcer. Life often throws things at us that fill us with worry, yet worry has no positive value in our lives. How should we handle those times when we are filled to the top with anxiety?
Again Solomon declares, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.”
The wonderful truth for us to grasp is that the Lord will give rest to His children. We experience this rest when we realize that the things we are facing, while much too big for us are never too much for Him. Our life is like a walled city, and the Lord is our watchman. Nothing gets in that He has not allowed. He is able to use even the gravest of circumstances to produce His desired effects within the child of God. Instead of filling your mind with the things that create anxiety, fill your minds with the promises of God, and enjoy the rest that only He provides.
Pastor Jim Gallagher is the Lead Pastor at Calvary Chapel Vero Beach. For more information on service times visit ccvb.net or to read more inspirational readings, you can follow his blog at pjimgallagher.com.