Monday, July 27, 2015

In the Dark Hours of the Night

It's 12:15. Just after midnight. I stayed up until 11:15, knitting, trying to become sleepy enough so that when I did go to bed, I would fall asleep. My stomach hurts from so much churning, and the churning is from anxiety. There are things to worry about, and it doesn't much matter what they are this time; in a few years it will be a new thing to stress over. But the stress, the anxiety, the churning, will feel the same. It's felt the same for years, on nights like this.

When I flicked off the light and lay there and almost drifted into sleep several times between 11:15 and 12:15, each time my nervous, frenzied brain would wake me with a start. It's just fear. Sometimes I deal with it better, and sometimes I deal with it worse, like this time. I recited the Scripture I presently have memorized, and it's a good one -- "For this reason (because you cannot worship God and money) I say unto you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or drink, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air. They neither sow nor reap nor do they gather into barnes. Yet your heavenly Father takes care of them." That's as far as my memory could get.

I imagined Jesus speaking to me, just to me. "Do NOT be anxious." Worries are so much worse in the middle of the night. My heart is unreasonable and will not be consoled. "He has it all in hand." 'Then why is it falling apart?' I ask. I bring to mind the consolations that friends have shared in recent days, especially one from an old saint. "Try not to worry about things so much, and if you do, remember that He has it all under control." That's a paraphrase. The mind paraphrases a lot after midnight.

Again, this isn't about this particular trouble. There have been literally hundreds of troubles over the past thirty years. It's about how I handle the trouble. Sometimes it seems to slip off my back and leave me unscathed. This time, my heart is trembling and palpitating, my throat feels closed, I can't eat much. I feel sick. And my brain jerks me awake when I'm exhausted.

So I sit up now. It's 12: 26. My old trusty Bible lies by me, and I will read. I will read until I feel reassured, until the Holy Spirit calms me and takes charge of my weak spirit again. Anxiety is such a useless state. Reading the Bible puts one's life in perspective. When I read about how God rescues millions of people from slavery, or saves a man from death, or keeps His promises over and over, then my little trouble seems manageable. I know it's manageable to Him.

Then why does my heart still quiver? Why am I so afraid? My eyes drift over the pages of the psalms, looking for words for my situation, comfort for my trouble. Some are so pertinent that they're sharp. I will not quote them here. But "In my trouble I cried to the LORD, and He answered me." Yes.
Suffice it to say, I know both David and the Lord fully understand my fears and inner strife.

How thankful I am that His Word brings such comfort in the dark hours of the night.


11 comments:

  1. Hey M.K., still up in Texas and praying for you. Sometimes this happens to me, too. I usually tell the Lord my fears and then I tell Him I can't stop freaking out. Trying to stop myself (or waiting on the feeling to stop) has not been too successful. I finally just start praying for others until I fall asleep or daylight comes. I figure if I am going to be up I might as well get some praying done. I hope you are asleep already and don't read this til tomorrow:)

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  2. You are blessed to have your faith. Many don't and are left with the anxiety unresolved. Hope all is resolved soon. xx

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  3. Oh dear Mk, I am sorry you are anxious but really do exactly what you say and trust in God. He will bring comfort. I was and am feeling a bit anxious as I've got a lump in my armpit and it feels painful and awkward. Am sure it's nothing but still feeling nervous but don't want tge Doctor to think I'm a hyperchondriac. Will try to pray, like you say. X

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  4. Oh dear MK ~ I know just how you feel! The fears and worries are HUGE in the middle of the night and there isn't a thing you can do about them, even if you could.

    A lot of times I just lay in bed saying Jesus name with my breathing, Je (breathe in) sus (breathe out). It is calming and most times I fall back to sleep. The spirit knows our needs our fears, etc. and the Bible says in ~ Rom_8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

    Scripture comes to mind, songs too, and one night as I shifted around and the sheet gently settled on me, the thought came to my mind/heart, that it was like the love of Jesus, gently enfolding me. Now every time the sheet does that I think on that, the love of God settling over me, more than I can even fathom. He holds the whole world in His hands, He works all things out. He knows what we need before we even ask. He is our King, our Creator, our Lord and Savior, our Friend.

    I am a worrier, have been my whole life. Isn't that a shame? I trust in Jesus but fears and anxieties have a way of butting into that faith, and all I can do is cry out to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, asking Him to be my strength.

    Love, hugs and prayers for you dear MK. I pray that you will feel God's love, peace and strength, flowing through and surrounding you continually.

    FlowerLady

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  5. Bless you, Mary Katherine. For me it was 3:33 this morning but my usual "stuff" didn't work. Like Rainey, I use the name of Jesus to calm me but this morning, nothing worked; stress and anxiety levels are through the roof. During today, you'll be remembered in prayer.

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  6. Someone once said that all fear is rooted in the fear of death. In this time of life for me it's fear of something happening to kids or grandchildren. I lay awake with fearful scenarios playing through my brain. Fear is Satan's only weapon. (I may wander around here. I'm reacting quickly with a stream-of-consciousness thing.)
    I think sometimes when we say God has everything under control we mix that message with the idea that God's going to make everything smooth sailing. Look at Jesus and His disciples. They all died martyrs deaths, (with the exception of John?), yet they were "safe". Jesus prayed for God to keep his disciples from the evil one, yet they still were tortured and killed. But they were kept from the evil one and delivered safely into heaven. This worrying/fearing is just such a big thing we all are working on as long as we're on earth. When we fear we're giving satan power over us. If I can just master the idea of really handing my children over to God and being okay with His understanding of safe instead of mine, I would have few things to worry about. The rest is just temporal stuff. I know these are a bunch of disjointed thoughts. So much easier said than done. I think a big part of our journey here is learning to do that. Trust is what was missing in the garden of Eden. If Eve had just trusted God completely and taken Him at His word, we wouldn't be going through any of this. Now we have to spend our lives learning to trust Him. Sorry about the ramble. Feeling your pain and praying for you!

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  7. Sorry you are so anxious and are worrying. Seems though that you have done the best thing when that happens. God will see you through it. Sometimes it is hard to hand it over to God and leave it there though. I've said a prayer for you.
    Hope tonight you get a good night sleep!!

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  8. Praying for a more peaceful day tomorrow and a restful night. Sleep makes everything better, but not news to you. Look toward the move on Friday. No further.

    Love to you, sweets.

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  9. Oh, so hard when anxieties weigh you down and sleep is elusive. Sleep is such a blessing, and it's so frustrating when we're tired and worn out and it doesn't come. God's word is such a comfort, and it is good to continually read and re-read His promises. When I went through a cancer scare last summer, the ONLY time I felt any peace was when I was reading the Word. Blessings to you, dear friend. xo

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  10. Here's help:

    The Lord hasn't given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.
    II Timothy 1:7

    Stay strong in the Word! Confess scriptures out loud to yourself. (The devil hates that. Cool, right?)

    And I know you know this, but of what value is worry, anyway?!

    Sending love and blessings your way, dear M.K.

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  11. Anxiety becomes its own trial to suffer. But you are with God in it, and that is the right place to be. To be in a place where, "Lord, help!" is the cry of our heart - it's painful, but it's where Christ has gone before. We are praying along with you, Dear.

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