I hate waking up in the middle of the night.
Mostly because my mind begins to think hard and I can’t seem to turn it off. When this happens to my husband, he recites the Jesus prayer, “O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Which puts him right back to sleep.
I toss and turn, but can never quite get comfortable. Occasionally I will jot down (in the dark) important things that come to mind so I won’t forget them. Mostly my thoughts wander – and these days there are way too many dangerous subjects for minds to recall in the tired darkness.
The psalmist had the same problem way back when: “I was up before sunrise, crying for help, hoping for a word from you. I stayed awake all night, prayerfully pondering your promise. In your love, listen to me; in your justice, God, keep me alive.” Psalm 119.147-148 MSG
So, I eventually decide that if I’m awake anyway, I may as well be productive. I begin to remember before God my loved ones and all their concerns. Then I try to remember a biblical promise to match each one.
These are also the moments that the Holy Spirit often triggers recall of my own sin – harsh words, impatience, neglect, waste, or a choice I knew was bad even as I made it. Sometimes I lie there “crying for help, hoping for a word from you,” in my fear, shame, or discouragement.
In the quiet darkness, God often sends a word – the Holy Spirit prompts my memory with a Bible passage, lyrics, or a remembered conversation that seems timely now. Once comforted, I choose to offer names to Him in my sleepy stupor.
Always “Mama” for I know my elderly mother awakens alone in pain all through the night. But I also remember those who have no one to pray for them – the wanderers, the homeless, the lonely, the elderly.
What do you do upon awakening in the middle of the night?
Next time, will you turn your thoughts to the One who knows you best and loves you most? He is always awake.
More times than not, I eventually fall asleep again. God, in His mercy, grants me the peace of rest and restoration.
under the mercy, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength”
©2020 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouragement at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
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