We are weary, O God.
You are the God who does not sleep. We are taught that, in Psalms. We read these words, in Psalm 121:
You are the God who does not sleep, and we are those who need sleep. But sometimes–sometimes sleep does not come. Or it is interrupted by worry, or fears, or nightmares.
And, when those nights come (why are there so many of such nights?), there is comfort in knowing that you do not sleep.
- You are there
- you are watchful
- you are present
- you are the God who sees
- you are the God who knows
….even in–or, maybe, especially in–these sleepless nights.
And we are grateful for that. We are thankful and comforted.
But yet, we are still weary, when the days are long, and the work is immense, and the needs of those around us are great, and the responsibilities are pressing, and the meetings are long, and the nights are so, so short.
We are tired.
And yet, you declare in the words of Isaiah 40, that You who does not grow faint or weary, will infuse us with power and strength. Power to the faint, and strength to the weak.
Power, to stand fast.
Strength, to press forward.
We need both, God. I need both.
We need the power to stand fast, in you.
And strength to press forward, toward you.
And sometimes I find myself frustrated by the words here, in Isaiah 40. The whole picturesque, cross-stitch idea of “soaring with wings as eagles” and “running without growing weary”–these things promised to the one that “waits upon the Lord.”
And, I suppose, that’s on me, God. My frustration–my cynicism–is unfair. Sinful, even.
But I also know that the nights are short, the days are long, and my ability to “wait on the Lord”–to wait on You–wanes in those moments. And I don’t want some well-meaning, supposedly-encouraging coffee mug with an eagle painted on the side of it and these Isaiah 40 words, and a words of how strong I am and inspiring it all is. Those things turn my stomach.
No. I want you God. I need You.
I don’t want to soar like some majestic eagle….I just want sleep. And the ability to wake up tomorrow and do the things I am called to do.
And I want to sense that you are real, that you know me, that you are here.
But perhaps I am reading this wrong. Perhaps my connotation of “waiting” on You is wrong. Maybe–maybe to “wait” on You is not so much waiting for you to fix what keeps me up at night, but rather resting in You in the midst of what keeps me up at night.
Trusting You, in those dark, middle-of-the-night hours.
Trusting You, in these long days.
Victor Hugo had it right, maybe. He wrote this:
“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” ~ Hugo
So God, tonight we pray thus:
Give us courage for the great sorrows of life.
Give us patience for the small ones.
Help us to work diligently to accomplish our daily tasks, whether in our jobs, in our families, in our responsibilities, in our care for others.
And help us to lie down at know, in peace, knowing that you are awake.
And that You are Emmanuel, God with us; the God that does not sleep.