At 2:30 a.m. my eyes pop open. Here I am, fully awake. I have no idea why. It’s a woman thing. After an hour of agitated wakefulness, I give up, slip into my robe, make an enormous cup of tea, and give vent to my musings.
There is too much disquiet, too much strife, too much up in the air, too many details unsettled. Of course I can’t sleep.
My energy levels are rising. I’m having more productive days. I’m rejoicing over progress in my health. I’m utilizing these improvements to prepare two novels for publication and to work on campaigns and publishing details. Ideas fill my mind.
My daddy’s heart is wearing out. He’s eighty, a healthy man who has maintained fitness all his life. But rheumatic fever as a child left its mark. Everything is being done. He has good care. But he’s my daddy, and this is what a girl worries about at 2:30 a.m. I don’t like where this is going one bit. In the middle of the night I cry over my daddy like a little girl.
I’m a mother hen, and the chicks are scattered. My six children live all over the country, and there’s always something with that many. Trips abroad. Trips domestic. Ups and downs. I long to tuck all the chicks and grand-chicks under my wings. But they’ve all flown the coop.
There is unrest in the world, racial division and inequality still breaking apart our country, radical extremists harming others, earthquakes, people hurting because of injustice all over the world. There is no peace.
I am a worrier. It’s remarkable any of us can sleep at night.
I tell all this to God. As I vent, I sense his nearness.
As usual, I’m trying to carry this myself. I figure this out by 4:00 a.m.
Life is a lesson in learning to trust God. We are not in control.
In the wee hours, I find this gaping hole in my faith.
I know my theology. I know that God has promised to work all things together for my good, because I love him and belong to him. I know this.
I know to focus my thoughts on what is true, right, beautiful, and worthy of praise. I know to take all my anxieties to him, because he is near. He will guard my heart and mind, and I will be at peace.
I know this.
But, if it was truly mine, truly sunk deep into my heart and soul, disquieting thoughts and unspoken fears would not awaken me. I would not feel as if I’m learning and relearning this lesson continually.
But I am human, and this is the battle. I open my Bible.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” God says to me. “No! Not ever!”
So I reply with confidence, full of hope now, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” (Hebrews 13:5b-6a)
God’s unmerited kindness to me, his faithful companionship, his unfathomable love, his indwelling Self, and his supernatural enablement fill and uplift me. His nearness strengthens my heart. He is with me. All is well, merely because of this fact.
“It is good for my heart to be strengthened by grace” (Hebrews 13:9b).
Sometimes in the dark of the night, we simply have to crawl out of bed, have a cup of tea, talk to God, and stare at the black-and-white truth on the page to get our bearings again.
At least, I do. How about you?