Authored by Marie Story
Have you ever tried sleeping with a fly or mosquito in the room? You’re lying there, nearly asleep, when bzzzzzzz—the fly dive-bombs your face. I don’t know why they do this. I just know it’s really annoying. They don’t just do it one time either! They’ll do it over and over and over. Some flies are even bold enough (or obnoxious enough) to land on your face or ear. Unless you live in the frozen north, you’ve probably been through this experience at least once.
You’re drifting off again, when bzzz … SLAP! “Neener, neener!” says the bug. Howl of frustration! You’re too tired to get up and kill the thing, but you can’t sleep because of it.
You know, sometimes I go through the very same experience, but without the pesky bug. Here’s how it goes:
I’m trying to sleep … nearly asleep … when a little thought sneaks up on me, “I think I’m getting a pimple on my cheek. …” I know I shouldn’t worry. I know there’s no use worrying; I’ll worry about that tomorrow. I roll over and try to sleep, but my eyes pop open as another little thought drifts by, “Did I leave the coffeemaker on?”
“Shut up, brain,” I say. “Relax, quit worrying, and go to sleep.” I try to reason with myself, “You’ve got to get up early tomorrow. There’ll be plenty of time to think about all this in the morning.” But nope, try as I might to get to sleep, soon enough, along comes yet another one, “Isn’t that deadline coming up at work?”
And on and on and on it goes.
Early one morning, after a particularly long and restless night, I dragged myself to the kitchen for some tea and toast. I sat hunched like a zombie, eyes half closed as I tried to read a chapter in Psalms before my day began. I read through Psalm 118 till I got to verse 12 where King David writes of his enemies, “They swarmed around me like bees.”(1) I had to smile as I thought back over the long, worry-filled night I had just come through. I wasn’t surrounded by physical enemies, but my worries sure had “swarmed around me like bees”—buzzing, pestering, poking.
I tend to worry about things that I have little to no control over—like a swarm of bees. Bees, like worries, are persistent and hard to get away from. You can cover yourself on the ground, but the bees will just wait for an opening. Contrary to what Winnie the Pooh may have taught you, jumping into water won’t help—the bees will just buzz around until you come up for air. Don’t bother hiding either—they’ll very quickly find a way to get at you. You can swat at them and flail wildly, but you’ll soon be overwhelmed. You can try mind control on them … but that’s just silly.
When you’ve got a bee problem, the best thing you can do is call someone to help you get rid of them. Be sure to wear thick clothing in the meantime.
That’s exactly how King David dealt with the “bugs” in his life—he called in some “pest control.”
“Lord, save us!” he cried out, “Lord, grant us success!”(2)
David did the very smartest thing he could—he yelled for help. And what happened? He tells us:
“They were consumed as quickly as burning thorns. I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.”(3)
A handy beekeeper or exterminator will come along, sedate the bees with smoke, pop the beehive into a box, and take it far away where the bees won’t bother you anymore. When you can’t escape your worries and fears, call in the Expert Worry Exterminator—Jesus—to take care of them for you.
Are you afraid sometimes of what’s ahead? It can be scary not knowing exactly what the future holds, where we’re gonna end up, or what we should do with our lives. Sometimes our worries can come swarming in and overwhelm us.
When David was worried or afraid, he turned his cares over to God and expected Him to handle them. Every time David ran into trouble, he cried out to God, and the Lord was faithful to rescue him. And God continues to do the same thing for us today.
David goes on to proclaim, “You answered me; you have become my salvation!”(4)
Once you’ve called in someone to help you with your bug problem, you’re not gonna lose sleep over whether or not they’re doing the job. And you’re certainly not gonna worry about how it’s being done. You’ll rest easy, trusting that an expert is handling the problem.
Now, when I lie in bed, unable to sleep because of worries or fears, I’ve learned that the best thing I can do is call out for help. I explain the problem to Jesus, name each worry, and then turn each one over to Him. Sometimes I’ve got a long list of worries, and other times it’s just one thing that’s bugging me. No matter what the problem is, though, I know I can leave it in His capable hands.
Sure, sometimes new worries come buzzing in again. Sometimes I still have restless nights. But I’ve learned that as long as I stay close to my personal “Pest Controller,” I can call on Him to handle any problems that come up. Every time I do, He comes in and swats away that worry—and I roll over and go right to sleep.
1 Psalm 118:12 NIV.
2 Psalm 118:25 NIV.
3 Psalm 118:12-13 NIV.
4 Psalm 118:21 NIV.
Read by Amber Larriva. Music by sindustry(CC). (CC). Copyright © 2011 by The Family International