It is never in vain to be awake, however, if our God has something to say. Trouble is, I do not seem to understand it. I know my trust has been lacking lately. I have been so tired. Tired of the same old battles that never seem to be won, only fought endlessly and repetitively. Tired of pain. Tired of waking up. Tired. Funny, many of my earliest memories are of being tired. I remember being sleepy in school, groggy when we were dropped off, exhausted when we were picked up. In fact, I cannot remember a moment in life when I was not tired in some measure or another. Just the other day, my husband took a look at me during breakfast and sent me back to bed. I told him I didn't feel I could sleep, that I wasn't very tired. Then I woke at noon. From that point on, I realized that I was just regular tired for the rest of the day, not the bone-crushing, strength-sapping weariness that typically presses on me. I was merely sleepy, not borderline psychotic.
So why all this muttering about being tired? Well, the truth is that I do understand what God is saying to me. I have been discontent, but He calls me to focus on Him and be satisfied. I have been restless, but He calls me to rest. I have been angry, but He calls me to love instead. I have felt slighted, but He reminds me that apart from the slights Christ bore, I would receive wrath as well. I have felt despondent, but He whispers that my reward is not here on earth, my life is not for my own pleasure, and my mind must not linger anywhere but on the Author and Perfecter of my faith. Of course, He is right.
I have dwelt on my own sorrow and discomfort rather than on the One who laid aside glory to cloak Himself in clumsy flesh. Doing so, He gave up comfort for pain so that I may some day be free entirely, trade this perishable body for an imperishable one, and truly live. In coming to live and die as a man, He was willingly bereft of Something--some bond, some part of Himself--in a way that I can never completely grasp, just to pay the penalty for my crimes so that I can live with Him in eternity. He loved me, not when I was careful, sincere, and generous, but when I was reckless, false, and stingy. Not when I was striving to achieve the glorious purity of holiness, but when I was spiritually akin to a grime-layered, homeless junkie who cared only for the next fix. He called me to trust Him when I did not even trust myself, and I did.
Now He reminds me: "You came to Me, dear, and You believed. Belief must not waver now that your rags are patched and your belly full. Yes, little one, you are tired, but you must not give up. I have given you a task to do, and you must do it even if you do not think you can. Trust Me to use your little strength for My glory. Do as you are told, even if it doesn't seem to come out right just now. Leave the results to Me. For I have searched you and known you. I know when you sit down and when you rise up. I discern your thoughts from afar. I search out your path and your lying down, and am acquainted with all your ways. Even before a word is on your tongue, I know it altogether. I hem you in, behind and before, and lay my hand upon you. You are weary, but I shall give you rest. Just come to Me, know that My hand is indeed upon You, and rest in Me. I, your Lord, have the rest that no sleep can provide, the peace that no circumstance can offer. In Me you will find the life-giving Water so that you may never thirst again. I am your Rock, your Shelter, your Comforter and Guide. I am your Savior and your Creator. I AM. Come to me, lay your burdens down, and go about your work with a good cheer. I will be with you always... "
And I believe Him.
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33