Wednesday, 30 January 2013

LATE NIGHT MEETINGS


 
Lately, I went through an extended period of insomnia.  Several times a week I’d wake between 2:00 and 3:30am. I fought it as best as I could. I’d keep one eye closed as I navigated my way across our bedroom and into the bathroom, hoping to fool the other eye into believing we were still asleep. It rarely worked. I’d stumble back to bed, resume my best falling-asleep-position., and lie there for long minutes, or an hour… or two….wondering what in the world was wrong with me that I couldn't sleep through the night.

But it occurred to me one night that maybe I wasn't waking up at all. Maybe I was AWAKENED.

“Is it you , Lord?” I asked, “Are YOU waking me up?”

I've tried to come up with the reason why would God would want to interrupt my sleep. After rejecting “Practical Joke” and “Health Sabotage” and sometimes "Ghostly Reasons , I was left with the only reasonable conclusion: HE MISSED ME. Perhaps we hadn't talk that much and had enough US-time during the day., and HE waited until dark to get me ALONE.

I decided to I’d go with that reason, “Lord, from now on, If it happens that I wake up in the middle of the night… “I’ll know its YOU!” He took me up on that offer.

I’d sip my coffee and read and listen to music, always in the middle of the night. God never failed to speak to me in those quiet hours. Most nights, HE told me HE LOVES ME THAT MUCH. We doubtful beings never stop needing that reminder, and He knows that.

I learned a great deal about the heart of God in those late night meetings----and all the meeting since.
One night, I felt that familiar nudge and rose to meet Him again.  But the moment I sat down, before I could even open my Bible, I felt a strong need to repeat a favorite scripture:

“When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”
Isaiah 59:19

I didn't know why I felt such an urgency to speak that verse, but I said it aloud anyway. And then I said it again, and again and….again. For an entirely an hour, my mind was completely trained on that on truth from the book, and all I could do was sit in the stillness of my room, and repeat the words over and over. I have never before or since felt an inclination to pray that way, but I was clear on that night that God would want me to do nothing else but to talk to him.

It was 3:30 when I stopped reading the Bible. Though I felt completely energized, as if I’d just taken the most powerful nap and was ready to face my day, I also felt peace that I knew I’d fall asleep as soon as I sank down my pillow---and I did.

The next day, a friend called me. As our conversation progressed, she kept yawning on the phone.

“Tired?” I asked laughing. “What did you do last night that kept you awake?”

“I am tired, sis. Very. I haven’t been sleeping well. I  keep waking up in the middle of the night”

“Me,too!” I said, “In fact I was up last night”

“I was too!” my friend said.

I then explained what had happened the night before. “It was the strangest thing, but I felt completely riveted, completely focused on repeating those words.
“When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”

I heard a long pause on the other end, and I heard her crying and asked,
“At exactly what time were you up?”
“From 2:30 to 3:30am, I guess” I answered.

The pause lengthened more and when she spoke again, I heard tears in her voice.
“GOD HAD YOU STAYED UP TO PRAY FOR ME!”

She said, she had awakened with a heart so heavy it drove her to the bathroom floor, where she lay sobbing and trying to pray. She didn't share the exact nature of her grief; she simply said that life felt too hard on her and hope seemed too distant from her grip. She felt utterly overwhelmed, she said, by a flood of worry, fear and despair. Until suddenly, at 3:30am, the darkness fled, the heaviness lifted and she felt awash in PEACE.

And at the same moment that I rose from my couch and returned to my pillow, my friend rose from the floor and returned to hers.

I am often completely taken aback by the knowledge that the GOD who dreamed up Gravity and Love, who though to put spots on a Giraffe and puts loyalty to a puppy’s heart, who named and scattered the stars in the sky, WOULD STILL CARE AND WATCH ME SLEEP… and wake me to meet HIM…and invite me to put my two hands next to HIS.