It’s 2 a.m. and the walls of my house are practically reverberating from my daughter’s shrieks. Isabelle is my 9.5 month old. How naive of me to think that I was almost out of the “baby stage”. Teething is the worst. Top that off with some sort of cold/virus and my poor Isabelle just can’t catch a break. Neither can the rest of our family. She has literally cried all night long for the past three nights. I wish I was being dramatic, but I’m not. I was so tired yesterday that I just laid around with the kids all day. This left my toddler, Lazarus, so bored that his behavior flipped the switch in a bad way after he woke up from his nap. He didn’t understand why mommy was still laying around with his feverish and fussy sissy. He was not happy and he had every right to be upset. Though I still didn’t react well. I had reached my breaking point. But there was still more breaking to be done apparently, because I did not get to sleep tonight either. Isabelle’s fever is back and her painful teeth cutting through the gums has her crying every 5 minutes while sleeping. After hours spent rocking her, dispensing baby medicine, and attempting to nurse her, the crying continued. So I finally had to sit her in her crib and walk away. By some miracle that I had given up on praying for, my husband successfully got her to fall asleep. I was tired. I was mad. I was selfish.
That’s really what it boils down to, isn’t it? As parents, we have to put our wants and even our needs aside so that we can provide these things for our children. As I rocked my baby with tears in my eyes and frustration in my heart, I heard the Lord say “thorn in your flesh”. I retorted back rather impolitely that I have experienced enough thorns in my flesh and when was enough going to be enough?! I immediately repented. It was after that mental conversation with God that I finally just had to lay Isabelle in her crib and walk away for a minute.
This week of no sleep has been a thorn in my flesh.
Let’s see what scripture God was speaking to me in the midst of this physically/spiritually/mentally exhausting night..
“Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations [which I received from God], for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 AMP)
Now, I know that’s a lot to read. But I could not say it any better than God’s word says it. I’m not giving Satan credit by stating that he is making my baby stay up all night. No. On the contrary, God is allowing me to go through this stage of a thorn in my flesh so that I might humble myself; casting aside MY provision for my life, in order to go deeper in surrender to Him and HIS provision for my life. Once again, I find myself facing the question, “Is God’s grace really sufficient for me?”.
At the early hours of the morning, going on 3 days of no sleep and managing a crying baby who can’t be soothed, I am not the same woman that puts God’s will above all. Over the passed few days, when asked by my husband why I am acting on edge my reply has been that I just need sleep. That was my excuse for all of the chaos happening within and around me. If I could just get some sleep then I wouldn’t be yelling at my toddler. If I could just get some sleep then I wouldn’t be in such a bad mood. It is in those uncontrollable moments of my life, where my flesh is in serious pain, that some inner version of myself comes out who is far from surrendered to the Holy Spirit. Yes, human’s do need sleep, but what God is showing me through this season is that my inner self, my soul, needs rest as well. And I wouldn’t have stopped to allow my soul to rest had I not come face to face with this thorn of sleep deprivation.
The past few weeks have been very busy for me. Work has been crazy, ministry meetings with friends occurring multiple times a week, bible studies, and back-to-back worship events that God allowed me to lead. All very exciting and all very amazing, but now God wants me to pause and catch my breath. Selah.
If you have ever read through Psalms then you have surely noticed the Hebrew word “selah” used in between paragraphs through out the Psalms.
Selah is a suspension in music, a pause to catch your breath and exalt God above all (definition from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).
When we become so busy doing life, we need a selah moment to stop, take a rest, and lift up the King who is sufficient for us. It’s easy to put works on the platform of our lives. What we can provide for our Father in Heaven. I’ve written about this before and yet here I am needing to remember it again. God’s grace is enough for me. God’s power is my strength
. It’s all about Him and it’s all because of Him.
I’m tired. But I’ll be okay. I will sleep again. This season will end and I will one day look at my children wishing I could hold them as babies once again. Why waste another moment living outside of God’s grace by being focused on the thorn in my flesh?
If I am looking at the thorn then my eyes are not fixed on Christ.
Take a selah moment and re-exalt the King. This is the constant rest we all truly need.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)