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Day 11 – Make Your Bed

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

“You made your bed.  Now you can lie in it.”  This common phrase has been uttered more times than there are stars in the sky, either verbally or indirectly implied, or screamed within the confines of the mind while a smile is plastered to the face.

According to, the phrase supposedly first appeared around 1590 as the Middle French proverb “comme on faist son lict, on le treuve” (“As one makes his/her bed, one finds it.”).  It means simply that you must deal with the consequences of your own actions, with your own strength, with no expectation of assistance or help.

The world uses this kind of thinking to promote self: self-help, self-improvement, self-protection, self-redemption, self-condemnation.  It tries to negate the need or desire for help, and convince us that we must now quietly do penance through enduring the disaster we have created for ourselves.  It’s pride robed in false humility.

My mom has actually said this to me a few times, although it was more than 20 years ago.  I’m sure I’ve carelessly spoken some version of this to either myself or others, probably to my own children.

The psalmist, however, was the first to birth a similar phrase.  Psalm 139:8 (NIV) says, “If I go up to the heavens, You are there, if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.”  The King James Version says, “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.”   The Hebrew word for hell in this verse is Sheol.  It means the underworld, grave, hell, pit, abode for the dead.

In Psalms, the meaning is entirely different from the phrase the world has coined.  It tells us, that once we are children of God, even though we make our bed in the depths, or in a hellish place, or in a pit, He is there – with us.

The world says, “don’t expect mercy, don’t look for grace or help; expect punishment.  Hide!”

God says, “I see you: I see how you’ve fallen down, I see how you’ve caused your own pain and distress, but even so, I am with you and I will use this for your good.”

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

Lord, we make messes (a lot of messes…) through ignorance, wrong choices, and outright rebellion.  Your word tells us that because of Your Son Jesus, we can approach Your  throne of grace, repent, receive forgiveness, and You will remember it no more.  Help us to throw off the robe of false humility, and come before You, naked and unashamed, in order to receive Your grace in our time of need.

— Jodi Packe

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