"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety."
This week I had the opportunity to meet up with a couple of friends and visit with a couple more in Upstate NY. Different people, coming from different places and a similar message. One coming from a book of prayers and one coming from a small but vibrant pulpit: It is the LORD GOD who carried me through the night and it HE who has woken me from my slumber. It was said it very different ways. The morning prayer from the book was something like this
Arising from sleep, I thank You, O Most Holy Trinity, that, for the sake of Your great kindness and longsuffering, You have not had indignation against me, for I am slothful and sinful. Neither have You destroyed me in my transgressions, but You have shown Your customary love toward mankind, and have raised me up as I lay in heedlessness, that I might sing my morning hymn and glorify Your sovereignty. Now enlighten the eyes of my understanding, open my ears to receive Your words, and teach me Your commandments. Help me to do Your will, to sing to You, to confess You from my heart, and to praise Your All-Holy Name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
And what came from the pulpit was something like:
Did I get myself up to come to church this mornin'? No. It was the LORD who woke me from my sleep. Who watched over while I was sleepin'? Was it me? I don't think so, how could I be sleepin' and watchin' at the same time? It was the LORD watchin' over me and I want to thank Him for bringin' me safely through the night! Can I get an AMEN? Did you wake yourself this mornin'? NO, It was the LORD who brought you through the night watchin' over you and then woke you this mornin' Amen? AMEN.
So on my solo ride home, I was meditating on these things: how the GOD of the Universe is interested in the everyday details of our lives and how often I don't even give it a glancing thought. When Grace was a newborn, sometime I would just watch her sleeping. Sometimes just to admire this new little person who came from me and other times because I was a new mother and wanted to make sure she was all right and at moments the watching of this sleeping baby was a sheer joy and delight, what a precious gift from God. (Yes, I do know how to receive a child, who is a tremendous responsibility and still enjoy her, even to this day.) Parenting is a watchfulness.
The gift of making it through the night is not something that I consciously think about and it is a simple thing for me to be grateful for especially after a restful night's sleep. There have been times in my life that I have been very grateful, daily expressing my thanks to God and I need to get back to being grateful even for simple things like a good night of shut eye.