It’s three a.m. and I’m wide awake.again. I have prayed. I have cleaned my kitchen. I have spent some time in the Bible. Lights have been on. Lights have been off. I crawled back into bed only to start waxing poetic about my husband’s snoring. So now I sit in the office, a cup of warm black current and cardamom rooibos tea at the ready, wondering what it is that is keeping me awake this time.
I have theories:
- Some say sleep can be hard to come by when your brain is over active. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately and maybe my brain is processing so much right now I can’t fall asleep.
- My grandmother has entered the process of dying and it is likely she will die within the month. I’m torn between going to Canada to be with my mom during this time and not knowing if my presence will be a help or a hindrance.
- On the topic of my grandmother’s imminent passing, there is some spiritual work I am in the process of doing and I’m not getting a clear “this must be finished before she dies” message from God. I worry that timing may be critical but at the same time, I worry that I may rush through the process. It’s my process regardless of whether she is dead or alive, right?
- God is revealing generational work that needs to be investigated and completed. I have paternal generational ties to one of Canada’s First Nations and I believe that there is something I will learn about God the Father through these ties that I could not learn any other way, there are also bondage ties that will need to be broken in order for me to fully move forward. There is so much going on right now that this has slipped to a back corner of my mind. Is my subconscious processing what I’ve learned so far? Is my spirit trying to tell me something?
- Maybe I’m awake because I should be using this time to do something. Like clean my kitchen or pick apart the office. Perhaps I feel guilty and think I should be doing more right now. Using my time differently. Though why these thoughts can’t come to me during the daylight hours, I don’t know.
These are the things I carry in the wee hours of the morning. That and did I remember to pay the bills or add critical items to my task list. Which I’ve already checked five times and yes, all critical tasks are accounted for.
When I look at the list, I see a lot of worries. A lot of fretting. Little peace. And I recall to mind a verse I memorized eons ago when I was in grade school.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27
It was Passover and Jesus had just predicted his betrayal by Judas and Peter’s denial of him. Dark, heavy stuff. I can’t imagine how Jesus was feeling. He was about to allow himself to be killed through slow torture and watch hope be replaced by disbelief and grief as these same people witness the Messiah do the unbelievable and die.
And then Jesus turns around and says to them, “I know this is hard stuff to grasp and I know the shit is going to hit the fan, but I’m not leaving you high and dry. I’m not leaving you alone, without resources. Without hope. I give you eirḗnē, I give you peace. I give you wholeness. I release to you everything needed to be complete, something you cannot possibly attain through this world alone. And because I will release this to you, your heart, your inner self, your soul does not need to be agitated and stirred up. Neither do you need to live in fearful dread. It doesn’t end here.”
There is so much more to this passage in John and when I try to put myself in the shoes of the disciples who were dining with Jesus, I can’t imagine taking these words in. I would have stopped hearing at betrayal. I mean, shit, one of us is going to turn on our rabbi and messiah? That’s not right. This man is supposed to lead us into greater things. He’s supposed to save us.
I put myself as I am into these verses and I have to say, this is a lot to take in. I know Jesus was preparing for this his entire earthly life, but these men and women weren’t. And what Jesus was laying down, there was going to be a lot of mindsets blown to hell and back. Then later, to watch Jesus die and not know the end of the story – I can only imagine the shattered hope.
Jesus was true to his word. He released this peace into the world for us.
I feel like Thomas with my worry and my doubt, asking for proof. Worrying that I’m not hearing clearly, that I’m not focusing on what I should be right now. I forget that with this peace comes wholeness. I Forget that the three days spent in the depths of Hell and the resurrection meant Jesus completed the sacrifice that was needed for us to walk in grace. I forget that with this grace is a permission to move forward until God tells me to stop. That I don’t need permission to start – it’s already been given. That if I travel down a rabbit trail, the Holy Spirit will direct me back to the main road.
What is left of my tea is now cold and I feel the light buzzing in my head that signals sleep may be just around the corner. I may never pin down exactly what was keeping me awake tonight, but something good came out of it. I was reminded that if the timing of any of the things that are worrying me matters, God will let me know. And He likely won’t be subtle about it because He knows me. He’s not going to let me wander around in the weeds for too long before He guides me back to where I need to be. So I can just choose one thing from my list and continue on. In peace.