You see, I have always had trouble with sleeping and bad dreams. Since coming to know the Lord it has gotten better, however I still have "those nights" sometimes. Once I get it in my head that it is going to be "one of those nights", its impossible for me to quiet my thoughts and return to peaceful slumber. I toss, I turn, I get up and lay on the couch, I return to bed, I toss and turn some more. Somewhere around 4 a.m. I even resorted to a glass of wine hoping it would sooth my nerves which had frayed considerably by then.
"This might actually work!" I thought, as I snuggled up under 2 of my favorite blankets on the couch with the window fan blowing cool air on me. And it might have.....had it not been for those dreaded early birds chirping away outside my window, waking up the whole neighborhood with their incessant singing! (Ok, maybe "the whole neighborhood" is blowing it a little out of proportion.) Eventually, somewhere around 5 a.m. I gave up and went to Walmart to get some coffee since we had run out the night before.
"Why, Lord? Why won't You help me when I am tossing and turning and my thoughts refuse to be turned off so I might get some sleep?!" This is the question I held in my heart but was too afraid to say out loud. Then, somewhere in the middle of my inward temper tantrum, I heard it sure and clear. "You asked for more quiet time to read My word, didn't you?" Yep. I sure did. I have been praying eagerly for more time to read and meditate on the Word of God and here was my opportunity. What time is more quiet than when the rest of your household and the world is asleep? Perhaps if I had listened to that gentle voice when I first heard it instead of ignoring and excuse-ing it away, I would have gotten back to sleep much sooner.
Anyway, I did end up making myself a nice strong cup of coffee, sitting down with my bible and getting into the book of Acts. And I was thankful for it. Once I sat down in the stillness of the morning hour and it was just me and the Teacher, I knew it was all for my good. I also was reminded that our prayers may not always be answered the way we think they should be, but they are always answered!
Later on that morning, I went online to find a pleasant surprise - I had won a prize on my friend Rachel's giveaway on her heart warming blog, More Than a Days' Work! (Trust me, check it out!) Now, I have to admit that while I was glad to have had the time with the Lord in the morning, I was thinking it was going to be a rough day due to my lack of sleep. When I saw this, it was unexpected and really lifted my spirits. Then a few minutes later I received a text from my husband to let me know my car (which had a pretty bad exhaust leak) was only going to cost about $200 to be fixed, instead of the $1000 we thought it would be! Praise God!
I often get so caught up in the Lord's big-ness that I forget how intimate He is with us. Sometimes, I need a reminder that He cares about every detail of my life, not just the big ones. I was all prepared, yesterday morning, to have a rough day of chasing two-year-olds on no sleep but the Lord had other plans. He knew I needed a little something to make me smile and lift my spirits and He (as always) came through.
I am just in awe of our Lord and how loving He truly is. Many do not realize this and it is tragic. They believe He is too big and mighty to care about the little details of our lives. While He certainly is big and mighty, one thing I am learning is that our God is a God of details! He cares deeply for His children, even whether they are having a good day or a bad day. Peter tells us to cast all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7) He doesn't say, "Cast only your big problems that are life and death on Him because He is too busy to deal with the small stuff." Could you imagine??
I understand that being a Christian does not mean my life will be all lollipops and rainbows all the time. However, it does mean that in those rough moments, and even days or weeks, I have an assurance that He still loves me and is in full control of my path. It won't always work out this way and sometimes I will be called to venture through those rough days with no spirit-lifting blessings (or "love notes from God", as I think of them). It doesn't mean He doesn't care. It just means there's something better planned somewhere down the road.