Nothing good happens at 4:00am except sleep, of course…or so you would think. One of my “thorns” is insomnia – for years now. Sometime between 2:00am and 5:00am, I am usually awake off and on. By the time I go back to sleep, the alarm is going off. About every third night I crash which is great; after one of those nights, I wake up feeling like people who sleep regularly feel, and it is wonderful. As for the other days when I haven’t slept, the day seems very long. I have spent years trying to work on my self-control because I feel irritable when I don’t sleep, but others don’t want or deserve my irritability. I have tried various remedies for years to no avail. Insomnia is truly a thorn for anyone who suffers from it.
When I tell someone I’m praying for them, it’s likely I am praying for them in the middle of the night. That’s what I do when I’m tossing and turning. I spend a lot of time with God during the day, but I’ve made use of my insomnia by praying in the night too. One night, I was not just mildly awake, I was wide awake. It was 4:00am. Different from my norm of tossing and turning, I felt compelled to get out of bed and kneel in the living room where I have said many deep prayers. I had a lot on my mind, so I poured it all out to God. I cried as I prayed. It was cleansing. I told Him thank you for bringing me to my kneeling place even if it was in the wee hours of the morning. I prayed deeply, emptied my soul of its worries, and then felt a calm peace come over me. My Father lifted my bowed head and I returned to bed.
All us have some sort of thorn we deal with. Addictions, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, physical ailments and pain, loneliness, bad marriages, divorce, financial trouble, and on and on. We weren’t promised paradise here on Earth and life is certainly filled with troubles. But among those troubles, there is peace. There is love. There is hope. There is faith. And on the days (or nights) that I think I don’t have the strength to move one more inch, my Father always delivers. Always. And apparently even during the early hours of the morning, on my knees, as I found that particular night.
Watch for His mercies, gifts, and grace and you will see them. Listen to the whispers that you feel in your soul and let God surround you with His love. Let Him be the Lifter of your head so you can find strength to carry on – even if it is 4:00am.
“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3