S (Scripture) – Psalm 4:7-8 “You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” NASB
“I have God’s more-than-enough, more joy in one ordinary day than they get in all their shopping sprees. At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep, for You, God, have put my life back together.” The Message
O (Observation) – Lord, You have “set eternity in the heart of man” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). There is an intrinsic longing for meaning in this life – for purpose, to understand why any of us our here, make sense of our suffering, feel connected to the hereafter…it is indisputable that mankind longs to answer the questions that only You can. Merriam-Webster’s definition of “gladness” is “a feeling or state of well-being and contentment” or “the feeling experienced when one’s wishes are met.” When David wrote this psalm and penned that You have put gladness in his heart, he was clearly conveying the truth that contentment can only come from knowing You. All of our wishes – even if they are unknown to us – that have to do with answering life’s deepest questions can only be understood in terms of an eternal perspective. Because of the gladness in our hearts, we are able to experience a peace that this world cannot offer; a security that is unknown otherwise.
A (Application) – When we have our lives put back together by the One Who created it in the first place, the world makes a lot more sense. Our perspective shifts to a higher level. We no longer see the day-to-day issues of life at eye level; rather, we see the complexities and interconnectedness of life from a heavenly vantage point. There is comfort in knowing the whole story and how it all ends while we are forced to live in the confines of time and space. No matter what is going on all around us, the peace experienced by our foundation in Christ is unshakeable and more than capable of allowing us to rest peacefully.
P (Prayer) – Heavenly Father, thank You for meeting our deepest needs and being the answer to all that we seek in this life. So many people are trying everything this world has to offer in search of meaning and purpose. Help us to look no further than Your Son, Jesus. He proclaimed these words many years ago that still ring true today, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Help us to find rest in You alone when we are weary, and to point others to You along the way.