This is a word for those who find themselves awake when the rest of the world sleeps.
- For the one plagued by worry
- For the one caring for someone who is ill
- For the one haunted by insomnia
- For the one begging for their prodigal to return home
- For the one toiling on the night shift
And, yes, for the one trying to comfort an inconsolable infant in the wee hours.
As anyone who has stood sentry at night knows, everything seems bleaker under the blanket of darkness. Shadows grow menacing. Minutes feel like hours. Anxiety morphs into full-blown fear.
I’m not sure why this is, exactly. We have artificial light, after all, and we’ve long outgrown our fear of the dark. But something about those middle-of-the-night hours releases our monsters from their hiding.
I have a hunch that one of the reasons nighttime is so hard is because it has a way of isolating us. It makes us think we’re the only ones marking this bleak and desolate hour. In the absence of our usual defenses, we feel alone, and rather small.
If you find yourself doing battle by night, I want you to know that you do not keep this vigil alone. There is someone who sits by your bedside, someone who waits with you, someone who toils alongside you. There is someone whose love is not bound by time, someone who sticks by you even when it’s inconvenient, someone who doesn’t clock out when the sun goes down.
The psalmist puts it this way:
The one who watches over you will not slumber.Psalm 121:3-4
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
Even when the rest of the world is asleep, God is awake. And because of that, you can rest . . . even if you can’t sleep.
Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.Victor Hugo