It's 3 am. and I can't sleep. I toss from one side to the other. I hear my husband, and even the dog, gently snoring away. I throw the covers off to get air and then pull them back up close to my chin. I can't find that comfortable place. I try to pray, but there's too much on my mind. The noise and random thoughts cloud out my prayers. Finally I give in, put my robe and slippers on and slough off down the stairs in the dark. The dog follows me downstairs as if knowing something is amiss.
I step out onto the back porch and let him wander in the dark. Meanwhile I gaze up at God's celestial canvas and the night is full of stars and the moon casts a shadow through the tall tress. The crickets and insects of the night are singing and the world is quiet and dark. It feels peaceful.
I call out to the Lord. "Lord, hold me in your arms. Clear my crowded mind. Draw near to me as I need you to chase these thoughts out of my head that is spinning. I need you to whisper to me...here in the dark. Whisper words of peace and hope that will calm my beating heart. Lord, whisper to me....please I beg. I need to hear you." I feel so weak and then the tears begin to flow.
"Lord, God....Jesus, help me."
That's all I can muster and then I wait expectantly.....
"Bev, I know how you felt even before you spoke. I love you. I am right here. I am with you. I will always be with you. I will never leave you."
I know this is true because I have been through so many trials and God has been faithful to see me through each one. Though the time in the crucible is painful and sometimes God seems a million miles away, He isn't. He is always close. Sometimes my feelings lie and tell me He's not there....but He always is.
"Bev, I have redeemed you from the pit. I have set your feet on a solid rock. I have rescued you from the muck and the mire. I have put a new song of praise on your lips so that all may see and know that I am God. I have done this because I love you and you are mine. Your perseverance glorifies me."
Psalm 40:1-3...my life verse comes to mind. Oh how gracious God has been to me to rescue me from the depression and anxiety that plagued me for so long. He has been with me through so many trials. He was there all the time...always caring, always compassionate, always filled with lovingkindness that He poured out on me. For this reason, I will raise my Ebenezers (altars of remembrance and praise) so that I may always look backward to see what He's brought me through and this will give me hope to go forward.
"Bev, I have hold of you with my righteous right hand. I am never letting go of you. You will not be shaken. I will not let you fall. I will walk with you into every situation you are facing. I will go before you. I will be with you. I will come behind you and hem you in with my love. I will guard you and surround you so that no evil will be able to touch you.
You are my beloved. I rejoice over you with singing. I delight in you, not for what you've done, but simply because you are who you are and I created you. I will always draw near when you call. I will guide your steps and make the path straight for you....just take hold of my hand. When you wander off the path, I will gently guide you back into my loving will for you. I know you intimately. I see your heart and I love you....no matter what."
God knows all my fears and my doubts and even my frustration with Him, yet His shoulders are big enough to handle it all. God doesn't ever get caught unaware. He's always got whatever I'm going through under control. He's got me...always.
Nothing can thwart His sovereign will for me and in that I find peace. Nothing is impossible for God. Whatever worries me...God is more than able. He has proven that time and time again. I release my cares to Him. I lift my arms up as if releasing everything that weighs me down. His yoke is light and gentle. I can cast all my cares on Him.
"Bev, hear my Truth about you and the condemning lies and thoughts?? Those are from the enemy. I am greater than He. Call on me when they plague you and I will cast them, along with your sins to the ends of the earth. I know every tear you have shed and I have caught them all. Nothing escapes me."
I pull out a whisper prayer from God by Bonnie Gray....I read it over and it speaks to me. The moon lights the words. I pause between verses to gaze up at the starry sky:
"If you say, 'Surely the darkness of my doubts about myself overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night, and no one recognizes my worth.' I will answer you tenderly - even the darkness is not dark to me. I see you. All and every beautiful part of you.
And the night is bright as day. Darkness and light are alike to me. For I formed your inward parts; I wove you together in your mother's womb. You are beautiful. You were conceived in creativity and beauty deep in my heart. I want you to shine. You are mine." (Inspired by Psalm 139)
I thank God that He doesn't measure me by what I've accomplished. He loves me simply because I am His and I walk with Him. He loves me in a way that nothing I could ever do or say will take that love away. No matter how many times I fail Him, He will never fail me. How gracious and compassionate is your love for me, O Lord.
Thank you God for loving me, hearing me, seeing me. Thank you that I matter to you. Thank you for this time together and for how you whisper to me in the night because you never slumber nor sleep. Thank you for bringing me to this time together - appointed and ordained by you. Thank you for whispering your words of love to me in the dark.
I pat my heart with my hand. I touch my hand to my lips and then I point up to God. It's kind of our secret handshake. I go inside. My faithful dog, who's been standing guard, follows me. It's still early, but I begin my day having heard God's heart of love for me.....
What about you? Have you ever just spent time, quietly in God's presence and asked Him to whisper to you? If you have, would you share what He whispers to you in that still, quiet space? What Truth does He share? If you haven't, will you ask Him to speak to your heart and thank Him for how He will answer? Insert your name in God's whispers, and listen to Him speak to you...