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Sleepless Nights

Have you ever had one of those 'sleepless nights' where you just toss and turn, taking short cat naps here and there, but not really getting a great deep sleep that lasts for hours? This happens to me maybe way more than I should admit! I usually get off to sleep well, but then awaken in a few hours, only to find that my mind starts working on something I was musing over, looking for a solution to earlier in the day. In those wee hours of the night, I often come to some pretty great conclusions, finding solutions that had evaded me earlier, and creating things in my mind that I could fashion in my workshop. Why is it that nighttime brings that solution or creative surge? I think it might just be our being environment being quiet enough to listen - both the one we live in and the one that lives in us!

I praise the Lord because he advises me.
 Even at night, I feel his leading. I keep the Lord before me always. Because he is close by my side, I will not be hurt. So I rejoice and am glad. Even my body has hope, because you will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your holy one rot. You will teach me how to live a holy life. Being with you will fill me with joy; at your right hand I will find pleasure forever. (Psalm 16:7-11)

God isn't ever far from us, but in the stillness of night there comes a little extra 'attentiveness' we find actually helping us to become more 'honed' and 'focused' in listening and learning. God is always there to lead us, but we aren't always attentive to being led! Some of us need quiet moments in order to help us realize his leading is there - we just haven't been listening too well! Now, lest you think there is something magical in the wee hours of the night, there isn't really anything special about those hours when we should be asleep. It is just that if God hasn't been able to get through our 'muddled thoughts' and 'frantic activities' of the day, he will use the quiet moments of the night to help us find the answers we are searching for so desperately.

God's work in us is to teach us how to live holy lives. All that means is that he will help us make the right choices that lead to the right actions that produce the right results. Now, that should come as good news to some of us who have been looking at making 'choices', no matter what they are. If you are trying to choose which car to buy, or what company to use for a particular repair, or even where to find the best deals on your plants for your garden, God is there to help you choose. Question for you - do you 'always' go to God with your choices? If you answer honestly, your answer will probably be like mine - "nope". There are some choices God expects us to make 'automatically' - like choosing to always do what is right. The choice to do right or wrong is there - but there is really only one 'right choice'.

When we need his direction, it is there, but we aren't always 'there' to receive it. Some of us get easily distracted and find the 'direction' we so desperately need gets drowned out by the 'noise' of the distractions. When this happens, we may find God uses those 'quiet hours' of the night to help us to hear what he has been saying. It isn't that he doesn't want us to sleep - he wants us to have clarity and peace so that our 'rest' will be deep and perfect in every way. Rather than complain about that sleepless night, maybe what we should do is turn over, lay there for a moment and just breathe in his presence. There in his presence we might utter the words, "I am listening, Lord" and mean it. In that moment of recognizing he may have something to show us in that quiet space, he may just speak into our lives the clarity we are seeking! Just sayin!

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