Monday, August 04, 2008

HE Watches

He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121:3-4
It is the desire of my heart to become holy. I want to be a godly woman - to be a reflection of Him to the world around me. But last night I found myself thinking, No, God. I don't want to be like You in this way!

The "this way" to which I was referring was the neither-slumber-nor-sleep way.

(For those of you with infants who are not sleeping through the night yet, please forgive my whining. But I did my time with that already, and now I just want to sleep when it's nighttime!)

It started right away when I went to bed. Joshua had a friend spend the night and they were up late, making lots of noise. We finally told them it was time to be quiet and go to sleep, because they were keeping Brian and I awake. I thought that would do it.


I spent the next hour or so dealing with a nosy little brother who wanted to spy on his big brother's sleep over. Joshua was irritated. By this time I could tell he was quite tired and really wanted to go to sleep, but Matthew was keeping him up. When I finally got smart, I took Matthew's Nintendo DS away. Oooooo, he was not happy with me for that one. But he stayed in bed from that point on!

And I? Finally fell asleep.

Until a very tired and upset Joshua came to me in tears and woke me up again. It seems his friend couldn't fall asleep in his sleeping bag on the floor so Joshua gave up his bed. And now, while his friend was asleep, Joshua was stuck in a state of frustrated awake-ness. He wanted to know if he could come sleep on the floor in my room.
I didn't understand how my floor would be any more comfortable than his own, but he was desperate and I was tired. So I said he could come in.
Joshua lay on my floor sneezing and sniffling and I got up to give him a tissue. (Partly for his own comfort. Mostly because I knew there was no way I was going to fall back to sleep if he continued sniffling.) When I gave him the tissue, he asked for a drink of water. I went and got that for him.
After I gave Joshua the water I sat down on the floor and started scratching his back and playing with his hair. (Two activities which usually serve to relax him and lull him to sleep.) And he was weeping. I said, "I know, honey. I'm having a hard time getting to sleep tonight, too." After a brief pause Joshua said - through increasing tears, "Is it because of me?"
And I regretted making that statement.
I just mumbled something about it not being all because of him, and I began praying. It was as I sat there with Joshua - wondering if I would be able to get any sleep at all - that my ind went to Psalm 121. I thought about the fact that God neither slumbers nor sleeps. Rather, HE watches over us all day and night. He never takes His eyes off of us.
I knew at that very moment God was watching over me as I was trying to calm and comfort my uptight little boy. I knew He was going to give me - somehow - the rest I needed. And I prayed over and over, Please, Father, bring sleep to Joshua tonight. Please calm him and comfort him, and bring him peace.
In spite of my sleepiness I found comfort in knowing God was awake with me, watching over Joshua and me, and not wishing I would go to sleep soon so that HE could go to bed Himself.
He lovingly and patiently watched us all night long.
And He did bring sleep over both of us. *relieved sigh*
The LORD watches over you -
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm -
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121:5-8
He's watching you today. Rejoice!

post signature


kreed said...

Oh no! I was hoping it got better as time went on! This is a timely post as we had quite a rough night last night ourselves (well myself since my hubby sleeps like a rock!).

Rachel said...

I echo this with you today:
"It is the desire of my heart to become holy. I want to be a godly woman - to be a reflection of Him to the world around me."
It is such a great desire that I just had to re-write it today! Thanks for posting this story. We all have different stories that accompany our desires, which make the road difficult. I love that He watches us and is with us!
R <><

Amanda said...

OH how I can identify with this. I love that as Chrisitan parents we can immeditely turn to prayer when our children awake with fears/doubts/anxiety/discomfort. I have done this so many times with my babies that I truly believe it comforts them. And how amazing that at 3 years old, prayer can comfort an little heart.

You are a grat mommy and a fantastic sister in Christ that pointed out a new Scripture to me! And what a wonderful way to think about God watching over us.

Many blessings-

Mrs. Sidney said...

That is amazing for you to think of Him as you were struggling to get some well needed rest. I love when He shows himself right are our breaking point.

Have a good day!!

JanMary said...

Lovely post - can find joy and closeness to God even through a disturbed night's sleep!

luvmy4sons said...

Just when you think the sleepless nights are gone! HA! Then as teens...they come in late and wake you up or you can't sleep for waiting for them to come in and then you want to talk to them about what they did etc...I have found the teen years to be just as sleepless as the toddler and baby years! I love your heart with your children though. Always so tender. You are a great mom!

km said...

What a night. I think that it's pretty amazing that God spoke to you, and you listened in the midst of your weariness. I think so many times I want to tune out when I'm tired. Thanks for sharing this.

Stacey said...

Oh, yes! We just think the sleeplessness will end when they get through the baby stage!

I am tagging you, today, Karen. =)

Gretchen said...

So well written, Karen. It's easy to love them when we're rested and refreshed. It's those other times when loving really becomes a verb rather than a nice idea. I'm so with you on this one.

Kristi O said...

I love how it says "He will not let your foot slip" That is so comforting.

Cristina said...

I love this post and the thoughts you shared. I've wanted to comment on it but rational thoughts elude me and the thought of God watching over us as we struggle each night just leaves me in tears. I honestly don't know what to say except "thanks for sharing."