My thoughts raced as I replayed our conversation in my mind. Her struggles tugged on my heart.
Caring for aging parents is never easy, but yesterday had been especially hard. Her body screamed in anger after experiencing a minor fall two days earlier. She couldn’t move a muscle without feeling an intense level of pain. There was nothing I could do for her, which was the hardest realization of all.
My mind began to play out “what if’s.”
What if she’d broken something and the doctors didn’t catch it?
What if she entered a season on despair and depression?
What if she became more dependent and needed greater help with daily activities?
What if she just gave up succumbed to permanent sleep?
What if she didn’t decide to follow Jesus in time?
I rolled onto my side and willed the numbers on the clock to come into focus. 2:12 am.
Ugh. I was doing it again – allowing my worry to disrupt my sleep, which would also disrupt my entire day tomorrow. I have a long, hereditary history of worry which I believed to have conquered many times. It was clear I’d reached the cusp of another season of battle.
“Lord, help us,” I cried out.
That’s when the Spirit gently reminded me that God remains in control. He has a good plan and will protect us both through the journey. Many times, His children must experience a level of despair before they reach out for Him as Savior. Perhaps He was doing a good work in my mom’s life.
That instant, I began to thank the Lord for recent difficulties—including her fall—and for the work He would accomplish through it. Even if I couldn’t see the results I hoped for, I could count on His care and provision.
From Superficial to Supernatural Peace
Gratitude provides a giant step toward surrender to the Lord’s perfect will. It moves me from a superficial level of peace (where I try to give the appearance of peace but truly don’t feel it) to an overflowing, supernatural level of peace.
Knowing that His plan is perfect, understanding that He is sovereign and controls all things, and trusting that He will accomplish far greater things than my imagination can create—then expressing thanks for even the difficult parts—casts out worry and anxiety.
A flood of peace washed over me there in the wee hours of the morning and I woke feeling calm and restful. And when I am at peace, I can more readily embrace the joy of the Lord, even amid my jumbled life.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 NIV
If you’re like me and find yourself awake and filled with worry in the darkness of night, try this one simple step. Begin to thank God for both the blessings and the trials that you’re experiencing. I trust you, too, will begin to sense the peace of the Lord that overcome worry then gently lull you back to sleep.
To read part one of this Seeing God at Work series, click here.