Thursday February 18
Sleeping Under the Cross - Psalm 4:8 (NIV)
“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
The world we live in is a dangerous place. There are all kinds of troubles and threats around us every day. In the backcountry of the Crow Indian Reservation, there are the typical wilderness dangers: rattlesnakes, spiders, coyotes, bears, bobcats, mountain lions, burning sun and thirst, and bitter cold. There are also unseen entities that dwell on certain hill tops and wooded areas. Because of all this, few of the people venture out there alone, and rarely overnight.
However, there is a man who loves his solitary time out there – “Just me, God, and the coyotes,” as he puts it. He is much at peace there and sleeps well, staying out four or five nights at a time.
He finds such peace because the Lord has placed a firm reminder of His love and protection in the sky – the Northern Cross. Every night of almost every month, the Cross is visible somewhere in the sky. The Father’s night light shines down a steady reminder of His forgiveness and peace in Christ. Living under the cross of Christ, what danger can really harm us?
The Apostle Paul asked a similar question when he wrote to the Christians in Rome. He concluded that nothing in all creation could separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. As a shepherd and a warrior who slept in the open, David knew this truth as well, which led him to compose Psalm 4.
Lent brings us to the cross of Christ. Here is our safety and shelter even on the darkest, scariest nights of our lives. And if you ever forget that, simply look up. The Cross still shines down with the Father’s peace and safety.
Thank you, dear Father, for Your steadfast love and forgiveness, mercy and protection in Christ. Thank you for the Northern Cross that shines by night to remind us of Your faithfulness even when life is dark and we feel all alone. Help us always to fix our eyes upon Christ’s cross so we may sleep and wake in Your peace, our only real safety.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Rev. Dan Jacobs - Crow Agency, Montana