Psalm 131:2, 3 (MSG) But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.
Tonight's bedtime story and evening chat lasted longer than usual with many "Why?" questions from my two year old. Normally, I have no trouble staying awake and relish each moment, but tonight I was really worn out and I had to fight off sleep while I listened carefully to my inquisitive son after prayers.
"Mommy, why is it dark at night?" "Why do I sleep way over here on this side of the house?" "Can I have another drink of water?" "Can you stay with me a little longer?"
I answered what I could and stayed nearby until I heard Philip's regular breathing, signaling that he was finally asleep.
Stretching, I turned in my bed like a cat looking for just the right spot to curl up for a good night's sleep. At last, I talked to my head, my neck, and on down to my toes, "Relax".
Slowly tight muscles softened and released their tension from scurrying around to drop off and pick up my kids, and teaching my middle school ESL students all day. Then home again to prepare supper and family time.
My body was exhausted, but tonight my mind continued to rehearse the events of the day and then plan for the next. I got up for a glass of water, thinking I could clear my thoughts by walking a little bit. Then, back into the covers I went with high hopes of a deep sleep that normally came over me pretty soon after lying still.
Several hours later, something moving close to my head startled me as I jerked awake. I squinted in the darkness to see what it was, and suddenly I heard, "Mommy,(pause) "Mommeeeeeee..."
"What is it sugar?"
"Mommy there's a noise outside my window and I can't sleep." my toddler whined.
I could see the whites of his big round eyes, they were open so wide.
Honey, it is probably just the wind. Come up and get in bed, it's still the middle of the night and I want to sleep some more." And before I knew it, he snuggled up beside me, squirming a little.
"Relax, Daddy's right here," was all my husband said, and soon Philip fell asleep.
Secure in the knowledge that his dad and I were near, my youngest son lost all sense of alarm and mellowed out, totally at peace.
This repeated itself for several nights, and Pops was concerned that this was going to become a habit, so the next time Philip crawled in with us, afraid, he crept out of bed and went to sit in our little guy's room to see what he could hear. Nothing. He returned perplexed. Our children are all very sound sleepers, so this was really unusual.
I thought I would go and take a look out of his window, and then I heard it. A few minutes later I saw the culprit. It was a large barn owl. It was perched on the branch of the neighbor's tree which stood close to Philip's room. The bird continued to hoot, "hoo-hoo", but I was relieved that the mystery of the sleepless nights was finally solved.
Being in our presence calmed our little boy's fears. Peace settled in because he knew Daddy was big and we would not allow anything to harm him.
When frustrations rise up over unfair treatment, or unexplainable breakdowns occur after the budget is used up. If a job is lost with no money coming in and the fridge is pretty bare. When we come to the end of our rope, we finally sidle up to our Heavenly Father for comfort and strength.
Even before the disasters come, we can dwell in peace by daily spending time in the presence of God. When we quiet ourselves before God and bring a question to him, then wait. Listen and he will answer every time to calm our fears. It is unexplainable, yet so real.
I call it baby trust. Just in the same way a baby that trusts its parents will go limp and rest better in their arms, we as adults can practice baby trust toward God. Allow yourself to completely trust in the promises of God. He will never leave you or forsake you. Rest in this promise alone and I can assure you that you will experience a peace that passes all logic for the situations that you face in your life.
Relax, Daddy's right here...you are never alone. He is with you even unto the ends of the earth.
These men in the pictures are my older sons. On top is Nathaniel Markley and his oldest son Alan (taken about 8 years ago). Just above, is Jonathan Markley and his niece, Janae and nephew, Ashton (taken almost two years ago).