And frankly he is 6 and still does not like to fall or stay asleep. He struggles. His newest obsession is that he hates to be the only one wake. If his sister falls asleep first, he wakes her up. nice. So it has come down to me coming to his bed and laying with him. And I wait for it......"Mommy, will you stay awake until I am asleep." "Yes, Will."
He asks the same question every night. Like, tonight may be different. I may change my mind. Sneak in a winker before him. But nope. Every night he asks and every night I tell him the same thing. I will stay awake until you are asleep. Sometimes that is enough. Sometimes he asks again. But I stay with him. Until his little body relaxes and he begins to breath deep. Then I can sneak out to my own bed.
I love to sleep. But when he first started this I was reminded of me decades ago. My own dad was a night owl. Mom always went to bed early, but my dad would be up into the night watching the news and then the nightly talk shows. I would fall asleep up stair listening to his TV. If I needed a drink I would be able to see by the glow of his TV. He would look over as I ran to the kitchen. I knew he was awake. So I could sleep. Did I fear someone breaking in or monster under the bed and think my dad being awake would send them running? Maybe..... But really it was the comfort of knowing that while I was resting, someone bigger than me was keeping watch. I felt safe.
Now, that I am the "someone bigger" I often fail big time in the fear department. Sure, I can protect my son from the boogieman (as long as he is pretend right? Cause that would really mess me up!) but am I big enough to protect him from illness? I can make sure he is fed and cared for, but what about his trials in life? Are my arms that big?
Since those nights many years ago, my dad now is watching over me from a new place. So who is up to chase away my boogieman? I have my own worries and woes which I am not big enough or strong enough to handle.
I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
It is nice to know that even when everyone in my house is asleep there is someone who is watching out for us. Someone who promised to look out for us. Someone who is bigger and stronger than me. And in knowing this I can rest.
In my own times of quiet desperation (and the not so quiet), I know that Christ has walked with me. He has held me up at funerals and in my bedroom. He has walked through the valley of hopelessness and heartfelt pain. Did he take away the pain. No. Did he take away the sting of rejection. Not at first. He walked it with me.
When I first became a Christian, I read a scripture that talked about God holding our right hands. Being 16, I made this my thing. When I felt alone I would reach out my right hand and squeeze. When I felt scared I would reach out my right hand and squeeze. I knew he was there. I wasn't alone. And that has made all the difference. Life is easier when you have a friend to hold your hand through it.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matt 18 :20