The past week, including this weekend I have not gotten much sleep. I toss and turn, and on a good night I may get four hours straight hours of sleep before awakening and praying I can get back to sleep. Nevertheless, when morning came I was determined to get to the Sunday morning service in hopes of getting a word of encouragement. As always, the praise and worship music was great, and I believe the liveliness of it is what kept me awake. But when the sermon began, the quietness of the atmosphere lulled me to find the sleep I could not find the night before, only awakening and being frustrated in the process. As I prepared to leave that service to go to another I noticed the friend I was sitting next to (as prayer was going on) was crying. As what usually happens when I notice this, I put my encouragement cloak on, so to speak, put my arm around her and attempted to speak words God was giving me. They were words of casting our care upon the Lord for he cares for you, what appears to be impossible is possible with God, ask God to help with our unbelief in faith areas where faith does not exist, having strength, and on and on it went, kind of surprising myself of what I was saying, but knowing it was God’s words speaking to her and not mine. We hugged each other and I left, looking forward to going to my favorite pizza shop for a lovely slice of hot sausage pizza with melting cheese, that would act as a sleeping pill so I could catch a couple of cat naps before going to the next service; it worked.
While at this church I sang songs with the choir. Here are some of the lyrics to three songs:
Victory Is Mine, Victory is Mine Victory today is Mine, I told Satan to get thee behind, Victory today is Mine!
Be and be not afraid, to reach for heaven
He taught me how to watch, fight and pray, and live rejoicing everyday…everyday!
Sunday night before turning out the lights I prayed for a full night of sleep and rest, that whatever was causing this restlessness would stop, if just for one night. I must say, the evening started off good, and then midnight came…
I must have been really getting into the sleep I needed because when the phone rang, I didn’t react quickly. By the time I got to the phone it stopped, but I noticed it was my son’s number. I thought he just wanted to say hi, as his shift at the hospital where he works as a registered nurse was during the night. What struck me though was the time: it was about midnight, and I thought something was amiss, particularly since I know he is aware of my sleep issues. I called him back but he did not answer. What seemed to be an hour of waiting for the return call (of course I was wide awake by then) was really only five minutes when he called me again.
While racing his motorcycle (which he did not have to do as he had a great day of racing) he decided to go one last time: it was one time too many, as he crashed, injuring ligaments in his shoulder and breaking his left leg in two places. Being in the emergency room for a few hours, the medical staff getting the swelling down which lessened the amount of pain he was experiencing, the doctors told him he would need surgery the next morning. The call ended with me asking he keep me informed as to what was going on, which he agreed he would do.
Please God, get me back to sleep…
Can’t tell you when, but I did eventually sleep; actually I overslept, which had me getting out of bed, stumbling to the bathroom and beginning the process of quickly getting ready. Ready to leave, I got on the highway, feeling the evidence of lack of sound sleep, thinking to myself to make sure I had my phone, and realizing I did not have it. This prompted me to get off the highway, go back home to get the phone, and start the travel again, this time the traffic, once on the highway, had tripled in size due to an accident farther down the road. While behind the wheel I asked God for help, but in the asking my head was overrun with thoughts of how to get to my son, being concerned if he was alright, needing to talk to my supervisor, wondering if my scheduled appointment would happen, etc., but then the prayer shifted to just saying to God who he was, what he has done, and trusting him with all this, and this is what happened:
- the rain stopped
- the skies opened, just long enough for
- the sun to shine on me, and
- I remembered what I told my friend with
- the music and the lyrics of the songs listed above were loud in my head
and then I knew I’d be alright, and so would my son.
Now my ‘what about this and that’ no longer caused inner turmoil. Peace entered in.
Was I still tired? Yes. Was there still work to be done at the office? Definitely. But through it all, there was peace.
- My son texted me about the surgery; it was supposed to happen in the morning, but was pushed back to the afternoon. As of this writing, I am still waiting on an update.
- I discovered God has surrounded him with a great network of friends who came to his aid, while others offered prayers and words of encouragement via Facebook.
- yet others were changing their schedules to be with him at the hospital.
God is good, and I’m so grateful, which keeps my mind stayed on him, like the lyrics of Tye Tribett’s song Stayed on You suggests:
Ok, when troubl’ it comes my way, I’m not gonna fret, ’cause I know night becomes day. All things work together for the good, so I will trust and obey. ’cause even still, life could be worse, You’ve been so good, I give you all my worship, the storms of life will always go, But you give me perfect peace! I GOT MY MIND STAYED ON YOU!
And that is what the Stayed Mind concept is all about…stay strengthenized.