Last night was an awful night... Ryan was up a million times, and I slept terribly. (This is an ongoing issue.) So, first thing this morning I was tempted to complain and feel sorry for myself... but instead I begged God for grace to make it through the day.
I could hear Brandon stirring, so I went into his room to get him out of bed. He asked me to sit with him in the rocking chair, so we sat and sang a few praise & worship songs together...
"Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord...
Our God, You reign forever
Our HOPE, our strong deliverer..."
(Everlasting God by Chris Tomlin)
"I will wait for You, O Lord
Because You have filled my heart with joy
You lift me higher and higher
You're my one and only desire
"You put a new song in my mouth
A hymn of praise to You
All I want to do when I wake up
Is spend my day with YOU...
You put my feet on the rock, Lord
I'll put my trust in You..."
(Psalm 40 by Newsong)
Through worship, God is refreshing my spirit and helping me get my heart right! I determined not to complain—after all, how will I effectively teach Brandon to "do everything without arguing or complaining" (Phil. 2:14) if I am?? Then I prayed with Brandon, too... "Help Momma to 'be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances...' "
During the night, I felt pretty angry and bitter about still losing significant sleep after 4-1/2 months (since Ryan was born). I wondered, "Why is this happening? Is God punishing me? Does He get some sick pleasure out of seeing me suffer? No. Maybe He's trying to grow my character. Lord, couldn't there be a different way that's not so hard??" I considered a few other scenarios of trials that would cause character growth but seemed, somehow, less difficult than sleep deprivation... like persecution from a neighbor or something. Then I thought, "Yeah right! I'd be crying through any trial!"
I guess I realized I need to stop trying so hard to escape the trial, and let God do His work in me—to surrender my desire for a solid night's sleep and allow Him to show me His strength and tender mercy by carrying me through the day.
"Be JOYFUL always. PRAY continually. In all things GIVE THANKS, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
(1 Thes. 5:16-18)
This is what will help me abide in Christ all day long!
I also claimed Isaiah 26:3—
"He will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are SET on Him."
And Psalm 34:8b-9
"Oh the JOYS of those who trust in Him! Let the Lord's people show Him reverence, for those who honor Him will have ALL THEY NEED."
In the midst of my bitterness and despair, only God could give me hope and strength to make it today—and He is showing Himself faithful! Should I be surprised? (No!) :)