We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor. 10:5.
Lucy climbs out of her crib. She creeps into my room. “Mommy, cuddle you.” I pry open dry eyes, throw the covers back, swoop her up, stumble back to her room. I rock her as she snuggles into my neck for a few breaths. I lay her down, spread her blankie over her back, lurch back to bed. I toss and turn for a long time. My mind spins with our life. Finally, I sink into sleep.
The dog, Diva, whines in her sleep. My eyes snap open again. The wheels in my weary mind start to grind – again. I sigh, sit up, open my Nook, read a few Psalms, turn my body to shield the backlight from my sleeping husband. After a few minutes, I lie down and wait for sleep to cover me again.
The wind whips a branch against the side of the house. I jerk out of sleep, shoot straight up, eyes wide. Just the wind. I resettle my mind, rearrange my pillows, snuggle down under covers again. My mind is too full; I push back my thoughts while I try to drift into sleep….
Then, the door cracks open – “Mommy, cuddle you.”
Over and over again. Night after night.
I am so tired.
During the days, I wear thin. I snap quickly, leave laundry unfolded, forget to return emails and phone calls. I want to live above my long tunnel of sleepless nights, but I am so human, so fragile. Flesh thoughts. Victim thoughts. Melodramatic thoughts. It is hard to handle life tired.
We are slaves to our bodies.
I cry to God for sleep, just one night of long hours of uninterrupted sleep. A quiet mind, a rested body. Then –
What if this is an opportunity?
To renew your mind.
Sleep will renew my mind.
Ah, so will a simple choice. Do you trust me with these circumstances that spin in your mind in the dark hours I’ve set aside for your rest?
I stop in my tracks. Conviction cascades over me. I see it. I put aside my cares, my anxieties in a separate space during the day. Then I pick them up again as I lay my head down. I thread them through my night hours, endlessly spinning them on the strings of sleepless hours, the hours in which I can do nothing to redeem them.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7.
Lord, I have a busy life. I do not have time to dwell on hard things, nor do I want to. I want to be free.
Ah, that is part of this choice. This is an opportunity to renew your mind. What will you choose?
How do I do that, Lord? How do I redeem my sleepless nights?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will. Rom.12:1-2.
How could I miss this? Is that not what keeps me up at night? Trying to discern His will? Mulling over this muddy vortex that appears to complicate His good, pleasing and perfect will? I mistakenly believe that my mind is what holds me back, but no, it is not my mind; it is my lack of discipline over my mind.
Do you trust me with these circumstances that spin in your mind in the dark hours I’ve set aside for your rest?
Will you let Me transform you by the renewing of your mind?
I confess that I have not cast my cares upon the Lord.
I confess that I have dwelled on that which belongs solely to the Lord.
I lay down the circumstances that feel complicated to me, but are laid bare before You, Lord. You have a way through. Indeed, You Are the Way through.
I tell you everything in my mind, Lord. You already know, but I give it to You myself. I pour it out to you in the daylight hours, knowing you will hold it through the night. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Ps.62:8.
I take my thoughts captive, making them slaves to my freedom – not the other way around.
And I sleep.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves. Ps. 127:1-2.