Today’s blog is brought to you by exhaustion. Not today, but recently, I had that kind of exhaustion that comes with having only a moment or two of sleep in the last 24 to 36 hours. I was upright but my body and gravity were all out of sync. My head and eyes wanted to go into lockdown mode, my arms and legs seemed to have gained twenty or thirty pounds a piece, and my mouth was repeating some pseudo-reality my brain had turned on for its own entertainment.
My adventure in exhaustion began when my husband and our boys left for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for one last hurrah. They didn’t get on the road until nearly 11 o’clock at night…in October. In the summer around our parts of this state, there would have been some light to see by still. I wouldn’t have been quite so worried about them driving to their destination and making their way through the portages at 1 o’clock in the morning in the summer. But it gets dark by 6 or 7 in October, and my husband has been known to fall asleep while driving when he has put in a full day (plus some) of work as he had done that day. So, I waited up for a text or call that they had made it all right. I got one at 5 o’clock the next morning.
They had slept in the truck until first light and were now canoeing out, and I was thankful to know this so I could relax. I got an hour or two of rest before I had to spend the day working. That evening, my daughter and I tried to have some fun “no-boys” time together, but I ended up dozing through the movie. I finally gave up and sent her to shower and prepare for bed, so I could go to bed myself. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, but I was awakened a bit later. My daughter was crying out for help. I jumped up and ran down the stairs to the lower level where I promptly slid through piles and pools of dog feces, urine, and vomit. My dog had gotten sick in every way on every space of the floor. I couldn’t step around it, and my daughter was still crying for help. When I could finally open the bathroom door, I was met by the sight of my daughter holding up a towel full of head lice.
So, now you have the gist of why I was up until 5 o’clock in the morning the second night. I had one hour of sleep before my alarm woke me for church. I sat on the edge of the bed Sunday morning and did my best to thank the Lord for seeing me through the night. I had a lot to do that morning, and God would have to see me through it, but I seriously was not looking forward to any of it. I did my best to remember all the other things I had to be thankful for because I didn’t want to curl up and cry, and then I got up and dressed. My daughter and I made it safely to church, and I had everything I needed to teach the preschool Sunday School class, as well as all the beginning of the month materials I needed to give the other teachers. I was thankful for this, but I was beginning to fall apart. I was questioning why I was there. Was it okay to bring my daughter? I know I did my best to kill all of the lice and pick out the eggs the night before, but what if I had missed something? I didn’t find anything in my own hair, but what if I ended up starting a lice epidemic within our children’s ministry area? I was screaming, “Lord, help me!” in my head, but I was doing my best to smile and push through it all on the outside.
Thankfully, God has given me wonderful Christian sisters who took one look at me and didn’t scream and run away but laid hands on me and began to pray. He opened the heart of one who gladly took my lesson plans and activity work to teach the preschool class for me. Then, they all sent my daughter and I on our way home.
LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully – Psalms 10:17
God doesn’t hear our words, He hears our desires. I am paraphrasing something written about Psalms 10:17 in a commentary I read in a Bible study. I lightly let the thought pass through my conscience at the time I read it. As I laid in bed recovering from this exhaustion, however, I gave it more thorough thought… I took it more personally.
I was thinking thanks all through this trial, but my heart was crying out for more. Outwardly, I was saying, “I can do this. No problem.” Inwardly, I was crying, “I don’t believe I can. Can I just go to You in rest today, Lord?” The Bible study writer, Dee Brestin, in her book, A Woman of Worship, wrote her reflection on Psalms 10:17: “What a comfort for me, for I often have not prayed well. I wish I had been wiser, more discerning, and used Scripture more when I prayed for my children as a young mother. Yet, God heard my desires. He looks upon the young mother, the afflicted, and the humble woman who is crying out to Him and considers not so much her words, but her heart’s desires.”
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit. Many adversities come to the one who is righteous, but the LORD delivers him from them all. – Psalms 34:17-19
My prayer is simply this: Thank You, LORD. Amen.