Tuesday, February 16, 2016


"Why are you getting up so early? Do you and the kids have something on the calendar this morning?" Steve doesn't ask me this every Saturday and Sunday morning, but it is definitely a recurring question.

So early?! The clock on the dresser glowed 7:20. That's over an hour and a half past my usual get-out-of-bed time. I wasn't getting up early:  I had slept in and was getting up late!

Steve is more of a night owl. He likes to read at night, or work a crossword puzzle. If I try to read a book after 8:00, I usually end up snoring on the couch. I turn into Zombie Woman around 9:30 p.m., complete with glazed eyes and gaping mouth. Don't ask me to answer difficult questions or expect me to remember anything you tell me after 10:00.

I am more of a morning person. Most mornings, I'm awake and ready to start my day before six o'clock, my mind buzzing with a catalog of what needs to be done and what to tackle first. While Steve catches zzzzz's, I fix breakfast for the school kids, start the laundry, and check email.

If Steve goes to bed early - well, early for him, normal for me - he flips and flops restlessly for an hour or two before he falls asleep. If I linger in the bed late in the morning - well, late for me, normal for him - I do the same thing, tossing and turning until I simply can't stand to be horizontal any longer.

We both wake up periodically throughout the night to roll over (these old hips and shoulders hurt if you lie too long in one position), to make a trip to the bathroom (or two or three), to investigate a noise or let the cat in (how is it we used to sleep soundly through all these bumps and squeaks?).

I mentioned in a previous post the mid-morning wakefulness characteristic of this new season of my life.  When the kids were little and I was always exhausted, sleeplessness was a curse. However, now that I am not constantly worn thin as tracing paper, wee-morning wakefulness is a blessing:  it affords me time to pray, uninterrupted, in the stillness and quiet that blankets the house at two or three o'clock in the morning.


Last Friday morning I woke up at 4:30. Wide awake. I'd already had my night-watch prayer session, a couple of hours earlier. I looked at the clock and groaned. I would need to start my day in just over an hour, and I was tired and needed more sleep. Why was I suddenly so awake?!

I tossed and turned for several minutes, trying to power down the gray matter and slip back into sleep. I burrowed deeper under the warm blankets and did my Lamaze breathing.

Still wide awake.

I flopped over and scowled at the clock. "God!," I complained, "it's only 4:30, and I have to get up in an hour, and I'm tired, and You KNOW I need more sleep!"

Still wide awake. I got to thinking, as I lay there glaring at the blue display on the clock:

Yes, GOD KNOWS exactly how tired I am - and - GOD KNOWS exactly what I need - and - GOD ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS DOES exactly what is best for me.

I laughed, lying there in the 4:30-something darkness. I wasn't wide awake by chance, for no reason. God is sovereign over achy joints and bumps in the night and limited bladder capacity and startling dreams and whatever else might possibly have awakened me that morning.

I laughed at my own silliness. "Oh," I prayed, "You are telling me, Father, that I need to wake up and listen to you, talk to you, right now." I prayed for God to forgive me for my petulance, for insisting that I knew better than He did exactly what I needed at 4:30 Friday morning.

Why - when God interrupts my sleep, or my schedule for today, or my plan for my life - why, after all these years of God's unfailing faithfulness and goodness to me, WHY am I STILL so quick to respond with, "But God!, I need more sleep/for my day to go smoothly/to not have to deal with this problem!"?

I know better.

I know better. I want to meet God - at 4:30 Friday morning, or on a doctor's exam table last week, or struggling to meet a deadline this afternoon, or stuck on the shoulder of the highway tomorrow evening - where ever and how ever He "interrupts" me, sticks His finger in the pudding of my life and stirs my silly plans - I want to meet Him then and there with a smile, with joy, because HE IS SO GOOD and HE LOVES ME SO MUCH.


Even at 4:30 in the morning.

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