Counting Sheep…

I removed the paperback novel I had used to block the blinding light from the face of the clock radio on my night stand. The eerie green light pierced my brain, as it flashed it‘s silent scream, “2:00 A.M.!” I groaned and covered it back up. I was wide awake, with hours to go before the alarm was set to go off. I tried to go back to sleep, but it was no use. Maybe a cup of warm milk would help. I eased out of bed, trying not to wake my sleeping husband, and padded into the kitchen, bumping my knee on the hope chest on the way. “I hope this warm milk works!“ I muttered.
Sleepless nights are the worst! Thank God, they are few and far between for me! I pity the poor insomniac, who must deal with nights like this on a regular basis. I never feel more lonely than when the rest of the house is sacked out, and I’m lying there, staring at the ceiling, counting sheep. Many fears are born in the wee hours of the morning, and sometimes, the wolf seems to be gaining.
Isaiah 28:20 describes very well the misery of a night like this. He says, “For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it, and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.” And, there you are, tossing and turning, boxing with shadows, longing for the dawn. Then, just when it seems you can’t stand another minute, you hear that still, small voice. “Here I am. Hear, I Am.” The shadows flee, you uncurl your fists, and the conversation begins.
Oh, how the Lord can turn your troubles into treasures! Imagine! Hours to share the deepest secrets of your heart with God, uninterrupted by life! No phones ringing. No children crying. No boss demanding that report be turned in. It’s as though you hit the mute button on the DVD player. Even the tree frogs give it a rest, as the moon heads off to other lands, to shine on someone else’s house for a while.
I think that’s why some monks in monasteries rise for Morning Prayers at 3:00 a.m. There is a closeness at this hour that is difficult to achieve in the daylight hours. God has you all to himself. And, you can listen, really listen to each other, when the rest of your world is still fast asleep.
So, while I wouldn’t wish a sleepless night on anyone, if you happen to find yourself wide awake at 2:00 a.m., forget about counting sheep! Spend that precious time listening to what God has to say to you, and telling him what’s on your heart. You just might find yourself setting the alarm to awake at that lonely hour on purpose!

Prayers, Pastor Barb <

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