“Close your eyes.”
Our two year old daughter whispered that to me during our family’s “morning meeting” – a time when we gather to talk about the day ahead and then pray. It took me a second to realize what she meant.
As I prayed, I kept my eyes open. She was innocently reminding me to close my eyes as we prayed.
My heart needed that gentle correction.
Not because God doesn’t hear me when I pray with my eyes open, but because there are things around me constantly vying for my attention.
I’m easily distracted by responsibilities, by cares, by struggles, by unmet expectations, by fulfilled desires, by dreams, by technology, by entertainment. At times, I can become obsessed with those distractions. And sometimes in my obsession I can become fearful or controlling or both.
My little girl had no idea how much my mind can be consumed with those things when she whispered those words to me. But God does. He knows that I would drown in the circumstances of life if left alone.
So, he gives me gentle reminders, too.
In Psalm 46, the writer calls his hearers to remember that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear….”
The earth will give way. Waters will roar and foam. Mountains will tremble. Nations will rage. Kingdoms will totter.
My plans may fail. My heart may be broken. My job may not satisfy. My finances may dry up. My friends may abandon me. My dreams may be shattered.
Still, I will not fear. I will behold the works of the Lord. I will run to him in trouble and seek safety in his refuge.
I can close my eyes and rest.