“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5 NLT
It’s 2:36 a.m., and I’m wide awake.
Work woes and worries dominate my mind. Why, Lord?
How can sleep be so elusive? When I’m in this predicament, three options exist: panic, pop a pill, or pray.
Panic occurs when the anxiety that caused my insomnia is supplanted by worries about the problems of a sleepless night: How will I function effectively in that meeting tomorrow? What if I have bags under my eyes? Suppose this is the beginning of a pattern … and on and on and on.
The time to take an Advil PM is long before the panic sets in. By the time I’ve realized sleep won’t come, it’s too late to pharmaceutically assure a good night’s sleep; taking a sleep-inducing pill at 2:30 in the morning would guarantee I’d snooze right through that morning one-on-one with my boss. Uh oh – more panic.
That leaves prayer – either as I lie in the bed tossing and turning, or by physically removing myself from the site of my restlessness. I sometimes seek a comfy chair, grabbing my Bible and a blanket along the way.
Often, the words to one of my favorite hymns come to mind:
I, who made the stars of night
I will make their darkness bright
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go, Lord, if you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart
It’s true – sometimes we find ourselves wide awake due to our worries, stresses or anxieties, but it also could be the case that God calls us to wakefulness in the small hours. When else could He grab my attention long enough for me to listen to Him?
So now when I find my eyes wide open in the middle of the night, I try to avoid frustration; I focus on faith. It’s all part of God’s plan. What better time to really listen to my creator and to discern the wonderful things he has in store for me?
This I know: No matter how dark or restless the night may be, joy comes with the morning.