It’s the second night in a row that I can’t sleep. Instead I lie here minute after minute, hour after hour…thinking…a lot. I consider what I could have said, what I should have said….what on earth did I say? And why did I have to cry so much when I said what I said?
I toss and turn...partly just to give me something to do and partly because my neck and head hurt like the dickens! I find myself squeezing my shoulders together, scrunching the blades to my neck. I talk myself into relaxing them, only to realize that I have been clenching my teeth so tightly that my jaw aches.
I pray…for about thirty seconds. I manage to sob a “Lord, help me!” before my mind has wandered back to the reason I am struggling tonight. Minutes later when I recognize that my prayer disintegrated before it ever really started, my cry becomes, “Lord, forgive me.” But this prayer doesn’t last long either.
I’m not a worrier by nature - at least I have never been one before. Even in the darkest moments of my life, I manage to find rest in the Lord and His promises for me. But lately fear, frustration, anger, worry, helplessness, hopelessness, loneliness - all these emotions and more have overwhelmed my usually calm and optimistic head.
Now what? I can’t pray, I can’t sleep, I can’t relax, I can’t do anything but think - and that I should not be doing!
So I ask the Lord to help me focus on something - anything - that will distract me from the pain and despair.
I remember when I was in labor for my first child. The breathing techniques that I had learned in child birthing class only managed to make me hyperventilate. The pain was so much more than anything that I had ever experienced, and I sought the Lord for a distraction. He gave me His Word. Over and over again I quoted verses of scripture to get me past each contraction.
In a way, I feel like I am in labor tonight. So I ask God for a promise from His Word that will get me through this “contraction” that is the long, lonely night.
"Yes, Lord? Ok, I am ready for this…lay it on me!"
“God is my salvation!”
"Oh, Lord! Are you truly my salvation? There seems to be no way that I can be saved through this!"
“I will trust, and not be afraid!”
"Well, goodness gracious, if I could do that I wouldn’t be calling on You right now - I’d be asleep!"
“For the Lord my God is my Strength and my Song, He also has become my Salvation!”
"Lord, you are my Strength! Without you I will never make it through this night! But my Song? I confess that I do not feel much like singing…"
But I sing anyway. I will sing tonight and tomorrow and the day after that… because a song of praise is about all I have right now.
I sing…and the Lord becomes my Salvation.
“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water from the well of salvation!”
It has been a while since I have done anything with joy. But tonight as I sing my song of praise, I feel the joy begin to bubble ever so slightly deep down in the well. And I begin to trust again…I trust that my salvation is coming.
"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Isaiah 12:2-3 (KJV)