It’s dark. I am awake and the clock is glaring a set of numbers that tells me I should really be sleeping, because I have to get up before too many more hours pass. But my mind is spinning a hundred miles a minute, and some concern is boring its way into my soul.
What is it about the middle of the night that has a way of magnifying your thoughts? Why do problems seem so much larger when it’s dark?
I breathe a sigh of relief and frustration when the sun begins to rise- relief that the long night is over. The light of day eases my fears and concerns, but frustration creeps in because I didn’t get the rest I so desperately needed.
In my experience, whatever it is keeping me awake in the middle of the night won’t seem so bad by tomorrow’s light. If it’s wrestling with the Lord I’m doing, I’ve learned to just submit and obey.
Last night, I was awakened by a hungry baby. As I lay trying to go back to sleep, some cares of the day before began to overwhelm me. I felt the familiar fears and nighttime overreaction coming on, and the Holy Spirit gently reminded, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” I couldn’t remember exactly where that verse came from in scripture, but I knew it was Jesus talking. When I looked it up later, I found it in both Luke 12:25 and Matthew 6:27. In these passages Jesus is reminding his followers that we can’t worry about tomorrow. If the Lord takes care of the ravens and the lilies, then he will provide what we need as well. Those words in that moment in the night were balm to my soul, and I let the peace of Jesus wash over me, which allowed me to rest again. Thinking how sufficient that verse was for me in that moment in the dark, another scripture came to mind. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
Next time you find yourself getting worked up about life in the darkest hours of the night, remember that your Father is already in your tomorrow. His hand is already working out provision, guiding your steps. Submit your cares over into his capable hands; confess and repent if needed; listen for his gentle reminders; and rest your weary head, “casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.”