I lie in bed, wide awake.
Sometimes it happens before I’ve even had the chance to fall asleep. Midnight comes and goes, and I’m still lying listlessly in bed, eyes gazing into the darkness. Other times my eyes pop open at three or four in the morning, and try as I might, sleep is elusive.
I want sleep. I need sleep, but sleep won’t come.
Swiftly and silently, I am bombarded by a litany from my “wish I had done that better today” list: the frustration and anger I let spill onto my children, the short answer I gave my husband, the laundry I didn’t get finished, the emails I avoided, the text messages I didn’t answer, the errands I didn’t run.
Then slowly, almost as if they sense my weakness, the questions start creeping in: What kind of world will my children face as adults? Am I doing enough for their education? Will they be able to get into college? Do I even want them to go to college? How do I prepare them well for this “brave, new world”?
They all stand together—the accusations, the questions, the uncertainties, and batter me mercilessly, leaving me with an aching pit in my stomach and a visceral feeling of inadequacy, sadness, and failure that makes the silence even more deafening, for I have no defense. I am broken.
On any given night, I can rewind the mental tapes and find shortcomings and failings too numerous to count: the ones that everyone sees and the ones I bury deep inside because they are just too painful to relive, and all I can do is pray.
I pray for my strong and gentle husband slumbering blissfully unaware beside me. I pray for my precious children. I thank God for the millions of ways He has shown mercy and compassion to me and my family. I pray for friends and family who don’t know Him. I pray for my friends with newborns and those struggling with pain or grief knowing that, in all likelihood, they too are awake.
And like the Psalmist, I wait for the seemingly endless night to end.
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his Word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Psalm 130:1-6 NIV
I wait because His Word says He is good to those who wait for Him.[i]
I wait because His Word says He will renew their strength.[ii]
I wait because His Word says his mercies are new every morning.[iii]
But most of all, I wait for the Lord because He is the bright Morning Star that forever put an end to the endless night over which sin and death had once claimed authority, and He alone is my hope.