Night. In a house filled with the noises of 3 children and a dog, sometimes it is the only time of the day when it is quiet. In the darkness that surrounds my bed I can think. I think of the events of the day, the triumphs and the failures. I pray. Confessing my sins, praying for my family and friends. Finally, praise for the day. Sometimes I drift off to sleep during my prayer. I don’t think that God minds.
But it was not so long ago that night was a source of fear and anxiety for me. I found, over this time, that while I could fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion something, either a child or a nameless sound, would wake me around 2 A.M. 2 A.M. became my fear. When woken up my mind began running in an endless cycle.
The cycle usually started with the worries of the day. Then those worries would take me on the journey to the land of what if. This is a hopeless wasteland of my mind. A place where my worst fears would happen with vivid color and send my mind running to find a solution. I would begin to plan for the worst. Once my planning was done I would look at the clock and calculate the hours until my children would awaken. If I was lucky, it would be 2.
All these sleepless night began taking a toll both mentally and physically. I began to dread those quiet nighttime hours. Night took on a sinister look.
I tried everything to fall back to sleep. Counting sheep, counting my blessings, counting sheep named blessing. I took a journal with me to bed and would write when I woke up. That usually just lead to more writing. I took books. I began to read my bible, some devotion books, anything that kept my mind from wandering. When I was given the list of scripture I mentioned last week I decided to take it with me too.
2 A.M. arrived and I picked up the list. On page 3 I found this verse Job 11:18-19 “18 You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid.” Hope and a night free of fear! I began talking to God about what I was afraid of. Instead of venturing into what if’s I began to remind myself what was. The facts of my day and my situation rather than the speculation of tomorrow.
Gradually, my nights became less fear filled. Truth began to be my comfort in the darkness. God’s truth and the truth of my life. Hope became my minds new landing place. Hope found in the promises of God. Hope found in the growth he was doing in me and those around me. Hope that things were going to get better. As hope began to grow my sleep increased. I slept past 2, 3, 4 finally the whole night through.