In the Middle of the Night…
I’ve been sleeping very well lately. In fact, better than very well. Rarely in my life have I had the fitful rest that I have had most of this year. Since this is really noteworthy, even though I usually sleep pretty well, I decided to calculate the number of days that we have been married and as of today, counting leap years, it adds up to 16,750. And in all those nights, I don’t think that we have spent more than 3 per year, on average, apart.
So, it’s clear that we have our routines and as the years have progressed, we have attended fewer social events and derive more enjoyment from watching television, sharing a cup of coffee and discussing our hopes and dreams for the future – just like we used to do when we were first married. While it is true that our dreams have been tempered by reality, we are thrilled that all three of our children now live in the area and I still think about my next venture…
It may be in the ministry world, and not the corporate world, but that’s just fine with both of us. And I can’t believe how busy I am – it’s a wonder that I ever had time to work. I honestly don’t see how people in retirement have time to do the hours and hours of volunteer work that they contribute to worthy causes.
I find myself in many meetings with ministry leaders and trying to find ways to get things accomplished. I still like being involved in those types of endeavors and mentoring our next generation of leaders. Janet and I have also been busy helping Jill find the right home for her family here locally and our grandson, Drew, has been attending workshop camps to keep him occupied during this time of transition from Oklahoma to Indiana.
I guess that all this activity leads to the fact that, as difficult as this is to believe, my days are relatively packed. And I am reluctant to admit that my personal devotional time hasn’t really grown this year. This is troubling to me because there are many people we know who are in dire need of prayer – and I should be devoting more time to this very important part of worship. Yes, I am being diligent about preparing for our weekly Bible study but that isn’t enough.
One of our friends had surgery on Monday morning and the mother of another friend was horribly injured when a freak accident occurred – she was dragged and run over by her own car as she tried to step out while the car was apparently still in gear. Those are just two of the people who need prayer for recovery and healing.
So, I guess that it should come as no surprise that the last several nights I have gone to bed at our normal time but have been awakened several times during the night. I mean wide awake – not kind of awake. And without fail, I have been prompted to pray for the people in my life who need help. Janet has slept peacefully, to the best of my knowledge, but I have felt the closeness of God during these middle of the night leadings.
You should also know that I usually find the early morning hours very lonely. I guess that’s why I try to sleep through the night. I get it when allergies or illness prevent a great night’s sleep, but I am healthy and to the best of my knowledge, there is no reason that I should wake up in the wee hours of the morning. Unless God wants to speak to me.
That’s the way God is. He is patient and waits to have your undivided attention. Whenever I realize this in my own life, I am reminded of Kind David and one of the psalms that he wrote. He was on the run and the beginning of the psalm highlights the thought that David feels alone and out of touch with God. As the psalm progresses, David grows closer to the Father and by the end, he is once again praising God and David knows that his enemies will be vanquished.
Our verse for this evening is the verse that I always remember when I am nudged by God in the middle of the night. David tells us, in Psalm 63:6-8, “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”
Those were comforting thoughts for David and they are for me as well. Sometimes, we are too busy to hear the still small voice of God and when that happens, God waits until he has our undivided attention, even if it is in the middle of the night. My encouragement this evening is that God loves us enough to wait for an opening to fully engage us individually – one on one – away from the distractions of our everyday lives. My prayer is that when we feel the nudge of God, we will become fully attentive to His leading and that we will cherish the time that we get to spend with the Creator of everything, even if it is when we are usually sleeping. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…