I felt like Goldilocks last night. The house looks different in the dark…when you’re wide awake. I started out in Papa and Mama Bear’s bed then tried Mama Bear’s backup bed – the living room sofa. After sitting bolt upright for a time and pleading with the Lord to knock me out, I ended up on the even smaller family room loveseat. No sleep. I was wishing the morning would come so I could just get on with it!
What do you do when you’re wide awake in the dark of night? You know it’s the time for either A) physical rest as God ordained it when He separated the light from the dark (tell that to my daughter working nursing graveyard shifts!), or B) emotional rest when in a time of deepened life shadows, which choice A is designed to help by providing momentary relief. Rest ‘in the night’ helps us welcome each new day.
Lamentations chapter 3:21-26 offers a beautiful phrasing of truth in the Good News Bible version:
“Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: the LORD’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The LORD is all I have, and so in Him I put my hope. The LORD is good to everyone who trusts in Him, so it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for Him to save us.”
Last night was an exercise in patience…on my part, and being saved…on His part. When I realized that every nerve in my body was vying to do its own standup comedy routine, it dawned on me I had not taken my usual one-half pain pill the entire day; didn’t feel like I needed it. However, tell that to those nerves at two o’clock in the morning! The Lord’s salvation came in the form of a small blip in my consciousness, “why not try a quarter pill to help the weaning off process…and maybe get some sleep while the night’s still young?” I tried it; blessed sleep came about 30 minutes later, and I woke up at 6:45 to lovely sunshine and the Lord’s mercies, fresh as the beautiful October morning it is.
Say I’m prying…but how did you greet the morning? Was your spirit full from the unfailing love and mercy of the Lord that was waiting for you when you opened your peepers today? Or was it a long, sleepless night either physically or emotionally that has put a decided damper on your patience and hope? Perhaps it’s high time for hope to return, and Lamentations tells us we are responsible for helping call it back into our wellspring of a heart. “Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing…”
I encourage you to meditate on this Lamentations passage. It ministered anew to my own heart as I pondered the Lord’s fresh mercies. You’ll recognize it in other Bible versions as the familiar rendering of “….His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” But love and mercy that still continue, “fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise” is an eternal promise that the children of God should never, ever forget.
In the middle of a sleepless night when truly the Lord is all we have, He stands ready to tiptoe into the shadows bringing salvation and hope. Don’t forget to remember…
Sleepy with Hope,