Is it just me? Do you have certain problems in your life, and in the daytime they are bothersome, but at night they are LIFE SHATTERING? I have such insomnia due to over-thinking that I have certainly lost weeks worth of sleep. Usually I fall asleep just fine, but if I am awoken for any reason (usually a child or a bladder–or a child’s bladder) then I’m laying in bed with my eyes wide open, ruminating on the issue du jour. Or I guess, the issue du nuit would be more appropriate.
This last week I’ve been wrestling with a hot topic in my life that is a problem with no easy solution. It’s not huge, but it’s not small either. It has relational, financial and ministry implications and it involves people I care about deeply. I’ve given this topic way too much thought and worry during the day, and then at night, it took over my brain! A few nights ago, I kept going round and round about possible ways to fix this issue, and how much it concerned me, then I re-played all my conversations about the issue, thinking I had already said things I shouldn’t have, or maybe I should have? I worried about feelings of all involved and the health of the ministry. It was pretty ridiculous, considering the small part I play in the whole shebang, and the relatively small nature of the problem itself.
And I remember after tossing and turning, half asleep, I FINALLY said in very clear words in my mind: “This is ridiculous! Jesus is bigger than this problem! I need to sleep. Lord, I surrender this whole issue to you for the night.” And then I heard it back in my head. “For the night”?!? It was almost laughable. “Because I am really sleepy, Lord, I’m willing not to be in control of this big problem for a few hours. You can hang on to it for now, and then when the sun comes up, I’ll take it back from you and try to fix it with my own power again.”
If I could see the Lord’s face, I have a feeling it would be similar to my face when my kids say something ridiculous and borderline disrespectful. His head would be tilted, arms folded, and one eye-brow raised with a sly smile on his face. He might say, “Do you wanna think that through and try again, dear daughter?”
And as I quickly realized the audacity in my prayer, it actually gave me peace. Jesus doesn’t tell me to loan my problems to him for a bit so I can get a break. He tells me to cast ALL my anxiety on Him because He cares for me. Jesus tells me to come to Him and surrender my WHOLE burden, because He can handle it all. And I certainly don’t need to try to take it back from him, or withhold the really tricky parts.
“Lord, I surrender this whole issue to you.” Period.
Does it mean the problem was solved when I woke up? Of course not. But does it mean that I can give the control-freak nature of mine a rest? Yes. And that His wisdom is where the solution will be found, not my own. God is good at being God, and I can just go ahead and let Him. As a friend of mine used to tell herself in the wee hours: He is still on the throne. My circumstances can change drastically, my whole world could come crashing down, and He would still be unchanged, sovereign and faithful.
And that is a reason to sleep soundly.