For as long as I can remember, I have always been a worrier. The constant worrying kept me up all night in grade school and gave me anxiety attacks in high school. I worried about school, boys, my grades, my salvation, my family, my friends, my weight… you name it, I probably worried about it.
A few years ago, though, while I was reading in Exodus, God gave me a revelation about worry that literally changed my life. In Exodus 12, the Angel of Death is about to come through Egypt. The Israelites were told to smear blood on the top and both sides of the doorframe, so that the Angel will pass over their homes.
“When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and He will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” – Exodus 12:23
In general, reading that verse, it sounds pretty simple. You smear blood on the door and the Angel of Death passes you by. However, when reading the verse, all I could think of was how I would have reacted in that situation. As a mom, there’s no way I would have been able to sleep that night. I would have been up all night, twisting my hands together, wondering if I was about to lose my first-born child to a technicality. Maybe I didn’t get enough blood on the door, or maybe I did the wrong pattern on the doorframe and the Angel was going to come through anyways.
Mid-thought, God revealed to me the sentence that would stop me in my tracks: “The blood still would have covered you.”
There probably were parents who stayed up all night wondering if the blood would work, and there were probably also parents who slept peacefully through the night—but the blood covered them either way. The only difference was how they spent their night. How do you think God would rather us spend our night: anxious and worried or at total peace?
Proberbs 3:24 says, “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
God promises He will be by our side (Proverbs 3:26) and that He will never sleep (Psalm 121:3), so that we can put our minds at ease. He says He will watch over our lives and keep us from all harm (Psalm 121:7). He has already made us those promises.
We have the right to lay down our heads in peace if we have the faith to do it. Our faith is what helps us gain access to the things He has already promised us: peace of mind, rest, protection, favor.
I’ve never seen a clearer picture of grace than this: as Christians, whether we access those promises or not, whether we live the life He has planned for us or not, we are still covered by His blood.
We can stay up all night wondering if we are going to miss out on Heaven on a technicality, or we can trust that Jesus’ blood was enough. The blood covers us either way. When we stay up and worry, all it does is keep us from accessing the abundant blessings He has poured over our lives.
After God revealed this sweet truth to me, I chose to fight back against the enemy’s attacks on my peace of mind. I kept Psalm 4:8 on my nightstand, and when I started to feel the anxiety creep in at night, I would repeat it over and over: In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.
We are not called to be worriers; we are called to be warriors—so put on your armor and fight. Fasten your belt of truth, and put on your breastplate of righteousness. Claim the gospel of peace and take up your shield of faith. Firmly take your helmet of salvation and use the Word of God to fight back against the enemy’s lies.