Psalm 3:3-5 Blankets and Harbors

…You, O Lord, are a shield around me;
    you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
I cried out to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy mountain. 
I lay down and slept,
    yet I woke up in safety,
    for the Lord was watching over me.

                                                -- Psalm 3:3-5

You are in bed, under extra blankets on a stormy evening, your pillow is comfortable and alarm not set. There is no place you have to be tomorrow. All is calm, all is bright, as the song goes. You take a deep breath and sink into the pillow. Add to this scene anything that is joy for you. This is how David describes being in the presence of God in this prayer. The peace that comes with being in the arms of a God who loves us, arms around us warm and strong and protective. We hold onto this image, close our eyes and sleep knowing we are eternally safe.

When King David wrote this, he was heartbroken over his son’s betrayal, worried about death, his family, what his son might do if he gained the throne. So many concerns, but three thousand years ago in the midst of this storm, he writes about the peace and comfort of knowing God personally.

When you and I wake in the morning, are concerns and crises waiting just beyond the window for us to fall back into? During a particularly dark time in my life, I would emerge from sleep with everything around me new, calm. A moment later reality rushed back into my consciousness and stress wrapped me in its chokehold. But there was a job to go to, kids to care for, so I rose up and moved into the day. One more day, then another. If I did not have a relationship with Jesus, the hope that He was with me through this, those days might have broken me permanently.

King David was a man for whom the literal weight of the world fell on his shoulders, who did some good and bad things and had good and bad things happen to him. He suffered through the bad with head raised high, however, sometimes using only the strength born of God’s own glory (verse 3). When he found himself weighed down by it all, he talked to God, gave the weight over to Him.

A new background image recently appeared on my laptop. Evening in a seaside Mediterranean village, quaint lighted homes and ocean surrounding a small harbor. The harbor is encircled by a stone wall which has protected and sheltered its small fleet for generations. Our faith, our connection with Father God is that walled harbor. Strong, enduring, it stands against every storm that might hit. Some days the water is calm and we take the walls of His presence for granted. When clouds build above us and the sea lashes against our life we cry out. The ships in our harbor: finances, health, job, reputation, put your ship here, will be rocked and bumped, perhaps even broken, but the strong walls will hold.  

Remember our time on earth is fleeting in the grand scheme of what’s waiting beyond. When things of this world overwhelm or even break us physically, let us try to hold an eternal view. We, who stand behind His wall, will be safe eternally. It’d be nice to also be safe in this world, broken as it is, but that would be a bonus, not the most important thing. At night, then, while Life roars outside the window, we can curl up under the blankets and remember the stone wall protecting our harbor, then sleep, knowing we will wake up with Him, here in this world, or in the next. Either way, we’re never alone.


Lord, be with us in our storms, and when they lash against us, remind us through Your Spirit that we are never alone. Be our safe harbor and our warm blanket every night of our lives.