Swans and Sleep

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lordmake me dwell in safety.”

-Psalm 4:8

swans sleeping

Yesterday, I joined these beautiful swans, sitting beside the pond on the Common (Boston Common), watching their namesake boats pass by.  Ducks, geese, and birds begged and dodged onlookers all around. Couples cuddled, nappers napped, studiers studied, and I simply sat there, taking it all in.

swan boat

In spite of the commotion all around, and the personal paparazzi they attracted, these swans slept on, paused to preen their feathers, stretched, and sunbathed, seemingly without a care in the world.

both geese pruning

I thought about how the Psalmist says that it is only because of the Lord’s watchcare over us that we are able to sleep “in peace” and “dwell in safety.”  Isaiah 46 tells us that this is true, even in the midst of catastrophy, and events that would seem to warrant sleepless nights and concern for our safety:

“God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Oh to trust the invisible “fortress” that is the arms of the Almighty God.  To have eyes to see the unseen armies of angels, ambassadors at God’s bidding, who guard his own (II Kings 6:17, Psalm 103Hebrews 1:14).  To rest, in the midst of all the chaos life concocts, fully assured that:

no weapon forged against you will prevail,
    and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
    and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.”

-Isaiah 54:17



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