By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. – Psalm 42:8
Most of the country has experienced at least a piece of the bad weather that has accompanied this latest version of the storm of the century. It arrived at my house last night. As far as accumulations of snow and ice are concerned, Iwas barely affected. The greater impact was more personal.
Around 2:00 a.m., the storm changed from snow to a light freezing rain. As it fell through the wind-whipped skies, the ice pelted the aluminum awning that covers my bedroom window, turning what had been a tranquil night into one with a constant rhythm of tapping just loud enough to wake me up. This usually isn’t a problem. I can roll over and fall back asleep without issue – unless provoked by that accusing nemesis of mine I like to refrer to as my mind.
And last night, he got me.
Before I was able to go back to sleep my mind began to fill, convicting me of a plethora of things: Jobs that I needed to do around the house, responsibilities at work, bills I need to pay, relationships I’m trying to build and repair. Now a word like convicted may seem a little strong, but think about it – when was the last time you stayed up at night, unable to sleep because you were so happy about the raise you got at work or the laundry you folded? That’s what I thought.
Our mind convicts us in those nighttime hours when we have little else to do and nowhere else to go. We need to get up, but it’s the middle of the night. Are you really going to go into the office to work at 2:00 a.m.? We need to talk, but unless someone is seriously hurt that’s a bad time to call. We need to budget, but fatigue and panic are bad foundations for financial decisions (ever wonder why the commercials promoting financial help, tax relief and advance paycheck loans are so prominent during late-night and over-night hours?).
Like those commercials, this is totally by design. Satan is attacking us at the point when he feels we are most vulnerable. Were it the middle of the day, you would have people to talk to, opportunities to get answers, and other activities to help distract and refocus your thoughts. But don’t feel special or singled out. Not only have we all been there, but consider how Satan operated in his dealings with Christ. Was Jesus surrounded by thousands when Satan came to tempt Him or was He alone in the wilderness? And returning back to our title, where was Christ’s conviction handed down? In the courts at high noon where the full eye of the public could watch over the proceedings, or at the high priest’s house in the middle of the night so the conviction could stick because the defendant was forced to stand alone?
Alone with your thoughts can be one of the scariest places you visit, just remember that you aren’t required to live there! God is with you: no matter what, where, or when. His promises are good 24/7/365 . In Him we can fight off the immediate onslaught of fear and worry that the enemy slings at us. Through prayer we can align our thoughts with His will and release our minds from the grips of fear. By connecting we can return to the peace promised to all believers and regain our focus to forge ahead in the perfect plan of our perfect God: a plan that overturns our conviction because of the willing sacrifice of Christ.
Sleep easy, secure in the safety assured by our Savior!