Yet I failed the test again. Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand God’s higher ways in things uncomfortable, the stuff that chaffs.
How I have come to hate sleepless nights!
The witching hour is 3 to 4 a.m. I am not a happy camper.
Looking at it from a selfish point of view: I just want to sleep.
Sleep boosts immunity, and I need that too, especially during cold and flu season.
Vanity cries, “beauty sleep mandatory!” and I don’t enjoy looking like a tired hag the morning after.
I need to sleep. A full time job keeps me crazy busy for nine hours each day.
Plus, being wide awake when much of the world slumbers is BORING.
Yet sleep evades, more often now as a mid-life boomer with fluxing hormones and transitioning emotions.
And I have yet to successfully surrender the l…o…n…g, negativity-inspiring sleepless nights to the One who, for some unknown reason, allows it.
I feel miffed. Frightful thing to admit, isn’t it? The blob of clay complaining when the Sculptor’s chisel cuts.
While I’m thankful it’s not something worse to deal with, I’m still a cranky cry baby. The next day, my adrenals do double duty just to make it through. Fatigue plagues me as I write this, having lost the battle again last night.
Since confession and accountability can help me change and grow, I am using this public venue to vent my spleen, sorely in need of a blood transfusion.
And I am certain there are women out there, and men, who can relate. Or am I alone in this? Would love to hear your coping methods and know what God is teaching you in the wee small hours.
My Father, I come to you angry and proud and confused, two thirds sinful, one part bewildered. And I need to dig deep into the Word — making certain it is tucked in my heart for when my mind reels petulant and incoherent — remembering that You are good, all the time. That you carefully and lovingly mold me, make me like Jesus.
There is a lesson in the moments of my recurrent sleeplessness.
In retrospect, dark circles underscore that it is what it is for now. Yet I whine, wanting to hang streamers and balloons for my pity party. But, I don’t.
I ask the Lord’s forgiveness, and Dearest Husband’s too.
Lord, please help me to grow up in my pre-dawn grogginess, remembering that Your Grace is sufficient.
What exactly, Lord, do I need to bring to mind when all I desperately want is to lay down my head on the pillow and sleep?
- You never sleep nor slumber, always watching over us, protecting and guiding, even at 3 a.m.
- You endured far greater pain on my behalf, as silent as a lamb to slaughter. If only I could keep my mouth shut sometimes.
- You have made me more than a conqueror through Christ, my strength. But I feel so weak, thinking ‘there’s no way I can ever be cheerful in the middle of a wide awake night.’
- Your strength is perfected in my weakness. Do I hear the alarm clock sounding a reminder?
- You never give me more than I can handle. You have made me a capable woman.
So what am I doing wrong, that I am not peaceful and surrendered in my sleeplessness?
You refuse to appropriate my grace in your moment of need, eventually giving up and giving in. You stomp your foot wanting your own way. I understand you are tired. I was tired, too. Your conduct is unbecoming for a handmaiden of mine. Your attitude saddens me. I am your strength. Will you not yield, letting me be God in this situation? Letting Me handle the matter for you, through you? And please, remember how much I love you…even when you’re cranky. But, I know you can do better so we will try it again…
My stubborn heart hears and I implore the Holy Spirit to help it listen. Like my Israelite cousins, I am stiff necked. Literally sometimes, indicative perhaps of the soul-body connection.
The words you were reminded of last night must take hold…My word will defeat the enemy of your soul. You wrestle not against flesh and blood. You both wrestle together against unseen powers and principalities. Remember who the enemy is! As I lay you down to sleep, let your bedtime prayers be for my help through the night.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
And the Greek word for temptation and tempted can mean testing and tested!
I need a tutor. I ask the Paraclete’s help to endure. And perhaps when I finally pass this test, I will even find the joy in pulling an all-nighter.
In my moments of sleepless struggle, the lesson I must learn is: focused soul-ly on self, I cannot see Jesus.
If I cannot see Him on the path ahead of me, how can I follow? And when I do not follow, the family resemblance fades. Fast!
Lord, I want to be good, but cannot do it without you. Please make me good!
“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself.” The disciple must say to himself the same words Peter said of Christ when he denied him: “I know not this man.” Self-denial is never just a series of isolated acts of mortification or asceticism. It is not suicide, for there is an element of self-will even in that. To deny oneself is to be aware only of Christ and no more of self, to see only him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard for us. Once more, all that self denial can say is: “He leads the way, keep close to him.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
May I keep close to Him, especially when I wake after pulling covers close for the night…