Encouragement for Today - Mar. 2, 2011

 March 2, 2011
While You Are Sleeping
Renee Swope

         "For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)         

Startled by the silence, I shot up in bed so I could see the neon red lights that told me it was three in the morning, time to feed the baby. But Andrew hadn't made a sound. Was something wrong? Or was he sleeping through the night?

Wavering between panic and joy, I felt my way down the hall to the nursery and leaned over Andrew's crib. I listened for the sound of his breathing and carefully rested my hand on his tiny chest to feel the gentle rhythm of its rising and falling.

Moonlight slipped through the blinds helping me see that he was perfectly fine. Most sane mothers would have gone back to bed. But not me, I stood there for a while watching my child sleep. The love and joy I felt at that moment was almost overwhelming. How could I love someone so much? My heart longed just to be near this little guy who set my days in motion with his cries and smiles.

Andrew developed a routine of sleeping through the night soon after, yet I would listen for his cries hoping for a good excuse to check on him. While he was sleeping, I'd sneak into his room just because I wanted to be with him. Then I'd tiptoe into my older son Joshua's room, and watch him slumber.

Looking at their faces, I'd imagine the boys God was shaping them into. I'd whisper prayers for them to know Jesus and love Him with all their hearts. I'd ask God to calm their fears, fulfill their dreams, and establish their steps to walk in His ways.

My sons are teenagers now, but I still sometimes go into their rooms to pray over them and watch them while they're sleeping. My heart feels just as full as it did when they were little guys. They aren't doing anything to make me feel proud or happy. In fact, they may have even driven me to my wits end that day, but I find so much delight in them because they are mine.

You know, God feels the exact same way about you and me. He loves to be with us and watch over us, even while we're sleeping. It's not because we are doing anything for Him, but simply because we are His. We might have even disappointed Him that day, but it doesn't change how He feels about us.

I sense God wants you to know today that He delights greatly in you my friend. And with His love, He is there today to quiet your fears, concerns, insecurities and doubts. I have a feeling the joy-filled songs He sings over you are written just for you, describing the beautiful woman He's created you to be, while gently leading your heart to know and rely on His love more and more each day.

What a great reminder for times when nothing's going right; when we feel like the whole world is against us and nobody understands what we're going through. I hope the next time you have one of those days you'll imagine the love of a mother watching her child sleeping and remember that Your Heavenly Father loves and delights in you even more than that!

Dear Lord, thank You for the reminder that You are always with me and that You love to watch over me, every minute of every day - even while I am sleeping. Help me to completely believe this truth about Your love for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Renee's interactive website for a list of Bible promises and prayers to remind you of God's love today. Also, enter to win a Living "Loved" gift pack that includes the CD and book below.

Rest Assured: Overcome Worry by Resting in and Relying on God's Promises a message on CD by Renee Swope

His Princess: Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Application Steps: 
Close your eyes and picture God watching over you at this moment. No matter what you have done or what has been done to you, God's love reaches down to hold you in His arms.

Bow your head and tilt your heart to listen to Him whisper, "You are precious in my sight and I love you." (Is. 43:4, NIV) Now rest in the promise that He loves you, He knows your needs, and He's constantly by your side.

If you could use more daily reminders of how much God loves you, read today's power verses, write them on an index card and carry them with you all day! Also, visit Renee's blog for a list of Bible promises and prayers to remind you of God's love.

Do you believe God is watching over you, smiling and delighting in the fact that you are HIS child?

Would you like to begin a love relationship with Jesus today, accepting your secure position as God's child? Click here to find out how you can know Him.

Power Verses:
Psalm 34:15, "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry." (NIV)

Psalm 139:1-3, "O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways." (NIV)

Psalm 33:18, "But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love." (NIV)   

 © 2011 Renee Swope. All rights reserved.
 Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Wednesday, 02 March 2011.