Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sleep-Deprived But Not Theology-Deprived

The past few days were tough--I mean really tough, as far as sleep goes for the Sumner household. Hudson has learned this new trick where he can roll from his tummy to his back. This would be great, except for the fact that he still needs to be swaddled to sleep. This means that whenever he rolls around in his crib, he oftentimes gets himself too worked up and looks like a fish out of the water (minus the fins!). He had also decided that he didn't want to be put down in his crib without WAILING first for about 20 (or more) minutes...which made for some very confused, frustrated, and exhausted parents. 

Just yesterday, I prayed that the Lord would help me to see his goodness in light of his sovereignty in this situation. I also prayed that he would help me to fight my sins of frustration, anger, selfishness, and irritability, which were rearing their ugly heads as I listened to my screaming son. Helpless though I felt, I was comforted by the fact that God is in control of all circumstances and, in fact, he had ordained this for my good (Rom. 8:28). Not a few hours later, though, I was in tears as I attempted to put Hudson down for nap number two, while fighting the feeling of abandonment and loneliness. Where was God in this mom's sleep-deprived, exhausted, and tear-filled circumstance?! My perplexity led me back to what I had written in my journal just a few hours prior to that moment. The thoughts that I had written down were a reflection on the unchanging character of God. This bore fruit in my thinking in light of what I was experiencing. My theology brought stability to my troubled heart.

I wrote, "Although I am perplexed about Hudson's difficulty with sleeping lately, I have been able to remember a few things about God's character that have been truly comforting:
  1. He is good; he is always good (Ps. 119:68)
  2. He cares for me, and wants me to cast all my anxiety on him in humility (1 Pet. 5:6)
  3. He is my hope--not my circumstances (Rom. 8:25)
  4. He loves me (Rom. 5:5)
  5. He is at work in my heart, using my circumstances to conform me to the image of his Son, which is my ultimate good (Rom. 8:28)
So where was God when I couldn't see beyond nap time? He was with me and near me. Psalm 94:19 brought immense comfort as well. The verse reads, "When worries threaten to overwhelm me, your soothing touch makes me happy" (NET Bible). 

If you find yourself in unforeseen circumstances that threaten to steal your joy or cloud your view of God's goodness, ask yourself these questions: "Does my theology work for me or against me in a situation like this?", "Is God really in control of whether or not my son takes a nap this afternoon?", "Does he have a purpose in what is so seemingly mundane and inconsequential?" I believe that God governs every detail of our daily lives and uses them to mold our character to the likeness of Jesus. When I am sleep-deprived and teary-eyed, I should let what is true about God work to shape me into the image of Christ.

I hope I can live this out when it comes to bed time...

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you! Stop battling your emotions and allow them to flow. The more you fight, the harder it will be. Cry if you need to, be mad, be sad or however you feel. Use the meditation I talk about which is sensory and awareness.