Thursday, April 7, 2016

He Never Sleeps

Last week, I wrote about how my mother lay awake worrying about house fires and how to get everyone out of the children's home she and my father operated in the early fifties in Alaska. (See Fire!) Although she got sick and had to give up the children's home, through that she did finally learn to trust such things things to the Lord.

But I had to learn that same lesson myself.

Bob in Vietnam 1969
When my husband, Bob,  resigned his regular commission in the Army to go into full-time gospel ministry, the Army asked him to keep a reserve commission even though he had satisfied his required time in the military.

The Army needed personnel to fill in for certain officers in the regular army when they took leave. But they couldn't use just anyone. They needed officers who had performed that job while on active duty. Instead of fulfilling the requirements of reserve duty the usual way one weekend a month, he could chose which two week time period he would serve.

That allowed him to fulfill his active duty requirements between terms at seminary. It also provided extra income then as well as later when he was a pioneer pastor.

While Bob was in seminary in Springfield, Missouri, our son was a preschooler. We rented a small, one-story house with windows all around. I worked at our denominational publishing house as an editorial assistant. My job included a lot of proofreading and editing.

The first time Bob went away for his two-week tour of duty was the first time I would be home alone at night with a young child. The first night, I lay in bed afraid to close my eyes. All through those long hours, I stared toward the open bedroom door imagining every shadow to be an intruder. What would I do if someone broke in?

The next day, I could hardly function at work. My eyelids drooped, and I struggled to stay awake as I tried to proofread. I knew I could not survive two weeks like this.

That night, when I got into bed, I prayed, "Lord, you promised in Psalm 121 that You neither slumber nor sleep. There's no sense both of us staying awake. I'm going to trust You to watch over us and take care of us." And I deliberately closed my eyes.

It took a determined act of my will, but I kept my eyes closed. It wasn't long before I fell asleep and awoke refreshed in the morning.

Each night, I repeated that prayer. Before long, I had no problem sleeping in the house when Bob was away. Of course, I always took the necessary precautions of checking to be sure the doors and windows were all locked.

Do you have trouble trusting the Lord in everyday situations? Try what I did. Find a Bible promise that relates to your need and pray it. Determine to trust it to God.

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