Pillows and Promises: Overcoming the Nightmares of Life
Written by Nazka L. Leosala
August 27, 2021
At the end of the day, it is our pillows and blankets that greet us, offering us comfort and rest.
The past year has been a difficult one. The times are still challenging, with the virus mutating and forming new variants, and the numbers of infected on the news are becoming names of people we know—names of those we care about. Even more so, despite the availability of the vaccines, the end of the pandemic remains nowhere in sight. And for most of us, these worries are just the tip of the iceberg; we also have other troubles to think about in the family, work, school, and many other areas of life.
With all these problems looming in front of us, it is easy to be discouraged and exhausted. Some of us might have been weeping to sleep because we fear for the safety of our loved ones. Others might not be able to sleep at all because of the misery after being sacked from their jobs. There might also be some who still sleep but have already lost interest in the activities they used to love. Whatever the case may be, what we feel is valid and that being distressed and drained during these dire times is okay and understandable. You are not alone.
what we feel is valid and that being distressed and drained during these dire times is okay and understandable. You are not alone.
But of course, we should not stay this way. After all, we cannot overcome the challenges of life if we are dispirited and have no energy to fight. And more importantly, we would not be able to express our love for others — for our family and friends — if we do not try to get up in the morning and start a new day with hope.
So, the bigger question is, where can we find encouragement when we are feeling down?
First, we have our friends whom we can talk to through social media. Currently, we cannot see them physically, but knowing that they are there, ready to listen, and can relate to some extent to what we are experiencing or have already survived the same problem, is already a big help. Only be sure that we are listening to the right friends. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Hence, we still need to weigh our friends’ advice against God’s Word and the advice of those who are older. In 2 Chronicles 10:1-19, a story is told of a young King Rehoboam who succeeded his father’s throne, King Solomon. Early in his reign, he was faced with a difficult decision. But instead of listening to the wise counsel of his father’s advisers, he listened to his friends because it sounded better to him. Ultimately, this led to a rebellion in his kingdom that he was not able to subdue.
we would not be able to express our love for others — for our family and friends — if we do not try to get up in the morning and start a new day with hope.
This is why the next two below are also crucial as we go through these difficult and uncertain times.
We have our family with whom we are spending more time now than ever. By sharing our ups and downs with them, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, enabling them to get to know us more deeply. By talking to them, we also open ourselves up to the wise, Godly counsel of those who are older and have experienced more in life. The Bible says in Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Our parents have gone through a lot in life; they can offer wisdom, or sometimes, just a listening ear.
Lastly, we have the Bible that is full of encouraging promises from God Himself. Jennifer K. Dean once said that “A promise is only as good as the person who makes it.” If God, who never breaks His promise, said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest,” in Matthew 11:28, then we can be assured to have this feeling of discouragement fully lifted from our hearts when we come to Him.
Our sources of motivation and inspiration are not limited to these three. We can also join small groups that are open for students or working people where we can find Godly friends, or even ates and kuyas, who can help us as they also rely on God’s Words for guidance.
These options are the best yet because 1) they are always there with us and therefore, available when we need them and 2) admit it, they are free. But, if we want the finest among them, it is none other than the Bible.
God never sleeps, nor do His words. He would also not get mad about interrupting His shut-eye if we talk to Him about our worries at 3 AM. So, when we are alone at night, with only our pillows and the moon watching as we cry our eyes out, we can check out His other promises of comfort in the Bible.
God never sleeps, nor do His words.
So having known this now, at the end of the day, it is not only our pillows and blankets that would greet us; there would also be God’s promises, waiting and offering us comfort and rest.
To help you during down days, here are some verses—promises—for you to hold on to (and embrace as you would your pillow):
Psalm 27:1, 5; Isaiah 35:4; 1 John 4:18
Psalm 37:5; Proverbs 3:5-6; 1 Peter 5:7
Psalm 42:1-11; Ephesians 4:31-32; 1 Peter 2:23
Matthew 11:28-30; Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 10:35-36
Psalm 119:50; Isaiah 43:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Joshua 1:8; Isaiah 26:3; Colossians 3:2
Hebrews 6:10; Mark 6:31; Romans 12:11