Thursday, May 28, 2015

"Me-OW," said God...

Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,

That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God.
Proverbs 30:8-9 NASB 

They look so peaceful when they're sleeping, don't they?

But, my little buddy, pictured above nestled in with his football, no longer wants to sleep at night!  No, Jinxy Kitty; now 13 years old, has decided that he needs to eat at 3 am, if not earlier.  What that means for me is:
  • Beginning at sometime between 1 AM and 3 AM, every morning since January, I begin to feel his "gentle" nibbling on my eyebrows, biting on my head, or pawing at my nose.  
  • He has also began to pull at our window blinds, so those usually are opened at bedtime in order to ensure they are out of his reach.
  • After being fed, he promptly retreats back to the master bedroom; while I, now awake, read for about an hour in the recliner until I nod off again for an hour until my alarm sounds.
I'm tired...I don't go to bed very early, so I'm only getting about two hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

But while others say, "Put him in another room," I cannot; because I KNOW with every ounce of my being that God is teaching me something through this.

He's reminding me that I can do NOTHING apart from Him. 

God KNOWS that my weakness is my pride and my sense of "accomplishment" and "contentment".  When I have nothing else going on, I get sloppy and I stray.

I would much rather RELY on God through the exhaustion caused by my cat, than through the chemo that coursed through my daughter's body 9 years ago, or the migraines that threw my life into chaos a year ago, or the pain that my dad's death thrust upon my family three years ago.

Not only does God want me to rely on Him, but He's also using this "early morning time" for me to get to know Him better.  I think of my grandma Ev and how she would wake up at 4 am and do her morning devotionals while looking out over Owl Lake.  She was so devoted to knowing her Savior; and her life reflected her time spent with God.  

He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, 
we may live together with him. 
1 Thessalonians 5:10 NIV

We're told over and over again by the people around us how important sleep is; and it IS important to our human, earthly bodies.  However, the amount of sleep we get has no influence on our salvation and our eternal life.  Therefore, I have come to realize, through this time with God, that a "lack of sleep" will not mean the end of me.  God will use the time I have; and use it WELL, if I give it to Him.

Last week I wrote about how I'm working on scripture memorization, and how God has blessed me as I've been committed to this project.  The fact that I'm missing out on sleep that I used to have has opened up new time for me to spend with Him.  I would often sit in my day-to-day life and say, "Lord, I'd love to spend more time with you, but I just don't know where to find that time..."  Well, God has decided to find that time FOR ME. 

Finally, through this time of trial and error; trying to figure out HOW to get my Jinxy to sleep though the night again (or at least let ME sleep through the night), God has reminded me that there are things I can't fix, and there are questions that I will never have answered.  
I can try all the tricks in the book to get Jinxy to leave me alone at night.  Covering my head, playing extra with him during the day, feeding him and then trying to go back to bed, feeding him later at night...NOTHING has changed the pattern.
All I have left is prayer.  
I have found that the nights I REMEMBER to pray about it, God has given me a later wake-up call, or He's given me an extra energetic day...He has proven that if I pray about it as much as I talk about it, He WILL provide me the rest that I need.

I know that many of you out there have children with special needs and you haven't had a good night's sleep in a few months, or even years!  I know that my "cat-zample" may not feel as though it can speak to your exhaustion, to your frustration, to your desperate need for a week or more of 8+ hours of sleep a night for a week...but I also know that God has given me this burden for "such a time as this" in order to encourage you and remind you that He KNOWS you are tired...He KNOWS you are weary...He KNOWS that your load is weighing heavy on your shoulders...

...and He wants to carry it...

Pray:  Heavenly Father; God who has called me to come to you for rest, I ask you to grant me the rest I need to get through each day.  I want to know you more, so I will work to use the time you give me each day to honor you, and to grow closer to you through scripture and worship. I pray, Father, that you bless me by multiplying the sleep I get each night...bless it to my it nourish my soul whether it be 2 hours or 10.  You fed the 5,000, and I know you can feed me.  Amen.

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