The Night Watches

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Gentle Reader,

I despise summertime. Always have and probably always will. The heat depresses me. I lose my appetite (for everything but ice cream, cucumbers and my mom’s iced tea). And when you live in a house without air conditioning, a house with windows that take in the full splendor of the afternoon sun…

You get the idea.

Add to this crankiness a nasty headache and a bout of insomnia and you’ve got a recipe for a full-fledged Marie meltdown. (Here’s an odd side note: insomnia does not cause Chronic Fatigue. The CFIDS actually causes the insomnia. Go figure). In the wee hours of this Monday morning, I listened to my husband snoring blissfully (the sound breaks through my earplugs quite easily) and stared at the wall, wondering why my life had to be so unfair.

Then I remembered something.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches. – Psalm 63:6 (NKJV)

All right.

I gathered up my pillow and my faithful doggy companion (who gets quite irritated with me during these sleepless nights, but feels obligated to stay by my side) and flopped down on the couch. And I started to pray. About everything. About nothing. I poured out all kinds of semi-coherent concerns and worried onto God’s lap. I asked for healing for people in my family. I sought out His wisdom for a difficult situation at work (and He gave me a brilliant answer, by the way). Subtly, the focus began to shift. I began to think about how awesome He is. How He’s always been so faithful to provide for me. How He’s preserved my life and that of my husband.

The Lord is just…amazing. There aren’t suitable words to describe Him.

Slowly, the flood of words died out and I lay there, still, content to just be in His presence. It was still too hot. I still wasn’t sleepy. My head still hurt. But all of that was okay, because I knew He was with me. I knew that He had listened to me and that He was going to work, had already been working, on all of the tough things. I knew, somehow, that He was sitting with me, His gentle hand stroking my hair.

Benny shifted against my legs, his soft fur sticking to my skin. He sighed contentedly. I think God was petting him.

So, my friend, when you can’t sleep, pray. Talk to God. Tell Him about everything. You’ll start to think about His goodness and mercy. You’ll find yourself in awe of His love. The knots in your soul will loosen and your heart will stop racing. It isn’t ideal to be awake during the night watches, but you just may find yourself sweetly blessed.

My journey to faith. (15)