NOW THE DAY IS OVER
Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834–1924
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)
Upon God’s care I lay me down, as a child upon its mother’s breast;
No silken couch, nor softest bed could ever give me such deep rest.
Trusting God throughout the day allows us to rest peacefully at night. Fear and anxiety are the chief causes of the tension that leads to disturbed rest. And sound rest is an absolute necessity for the renewing of our bodies, minds, and emotions. Only a peaceful relationship with God and with others allows us this total renewal at the close of each day. We must learn to relax and release our cares and burdens to the Lord and then claim His promised rest.
’Tis sweet to keep my hand in His, while all is dim—
To close my weary, aching eyes, and trust in Him!
Whenever there are those occasional times when sleep eludes us, it is important to center our thoughts on God, the Scriptures, and the loving concern of the Lord rather than upon the solving of life’s many problems.
“Now the Day is Over” was written by Sabine Baring-Gould (composer of “Onward, Christian Soldiers”). The author, a minister in the Anglican church, was recognized as one of England’s most prolific writers of his time. Baring-Gould wrote this charming text for the children of his parish at Horbury Bridge, near Wakefield, England. It was based on Proverbs 3:24—“When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid; yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.” The hymn first appeared in the Church Times on March 16, 1865. It is still a favorite hymn with children everywhere.
Now the day is over, night is drawing nigh; shadows of the evening steal across the sky.
Jesus, give the weary calm and sweet repose; with Thy tend’rest blessing may mine eyelids close.
Thru the long night-watches may Thine angels spread their white wings above me, watching round my bed.
When the morning wakens, then may I arise pure and fresh and sinless in Thy holy eyes.
For Today: Psalm 3:5; Psalm 37:7; Psalm 63:1–8; Psalm 139:11, 12
Determine to begin and end each day with your mind centered on God. Thank Him for providing the renewal of your body, mind, and emotions. Sing and share this lovely children’s hymn before retiring—
Osbeck, K. W.
- I laid me down and slept, and rose again: for the Lord sustained me. Psalm 3:5
- Wait patiently upon the Lord, and hope in him: fret not thyself for him which prospereth in his way, nor for the man that bringeth his enterprises to pass. Psalm 37:7
- O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee: my flesh longeth greatly after thee in a barren and dry land without water: Thus I beheld thee as in the Sanctuary, when I behold thy power and thy glory. For thy loving-kindness is better than life: therefore my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I magnify thee all my life, and lift up mine hands in thy Name. My soul shall be satisfied, as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips, When I remember thee on my bed, and when I think upon thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been mine helper, therefore under the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul cleaveth unto thee: for thy right hand upholdeth me. Therefore they that seek my soul to destroy it, they shall go into the lowest parts of the earth. They shall cast him down with th edge of the sword, and they shall be a portion for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God, and all that swear by him shall rejoice in him: for the mouth of them that speak lies, shall be stopped. Psalm 63:1–8
- If I say, Yet the darkness shall hide me, even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee: but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and light are both alike. Psalm 139:11-12