O Lord my God, thank you
for bringing this day to a close;
Thank you for giving me rest in body and soul.
Your hand has been over me
and has guarded and preserved me.
Forgive my lack of faith
and any wrong that I have done today,
and help me to forgive all who have wronged me.
Let me sleep in peace under your protection,
and keep me from all the temptations of darkness.
Into your hands I commend my loved ones
and all who dwell in this house;
I commend to you my body and soul.
O God, your holy name be praised.
Each day tells the other
my life is but a journey
to a great and endless life.
O sweetness of eternity,
may my heart grow to love thee;
my home is not in time’s strife.
- Tersteegen, from ‘Letters & Papers From Prison’ of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
I stumbled across this tonight while flipping through this book which I have yet to read. As I read the opening line my eyes filled with tears and I started laughing; a strange reaction. It was relief and gratitude that overcame me, and had me laughing and crying all at once.
God does not test us beyond what we can bear and I think sometimes that might mean simply the day coming to a close. There is nothing left to accomplish. Today’s worries have expired and although the problems and tension might be there tomorrow, there is respite in the night. Too often I lay in bed reliving the stressful moments of the day and in fearful anticipation of tomorrow. How could I forget that it is God who brings the night, not for dark thinking, but for peace and rest. Why do I not pray and ask for my sleep to be restful, my dreams to be peaceful, my spirit to be renewed and restored? Probably because I am usually too consumed with the cares of this world. But tonight, I will pray and ask, and I will be at peace.