I love my sleep. And I miss it dearly. I am in a season of life where I do not yet sleep through the night. But, oh, there is something so tender and endearing (and hard) about a child needing me in the middle of the night.
Little arms that cling round my neck. Hot breaths that slow and even out as I hold that precious little body against mine. The little shudder as I nurse a babe back to sleep. The sleepy sigh as I stroke a forehead.
There is something beautiful and pristine about that moment. It seems like there’s no one else in the world, except me, that child and God. Surrounded by darkness, the world sleeps on but the Lord watches over us and sees. He sees when I react with grace and patience. He sees when I wake with anger and annoyance. Does my Christian character still apply? Surely, that’s when I need it the most – when no one but wordless babes and the Lord Himself can see.
And He reminds me, gently but firmly.
Though my body yearns for sleep, my heart treasures these moments. Moments of trust and beauty, innocence and peaceful sleep. Moments that are fleeting though they feel like forever. Moments that teach me patience and perseverance. Moments that teach me humility and tenderness. These children will not always need me this much. They will not always want me this much. Someday I will wake up and realize how much I miss those needy arms, those baby cries, those sleeping breaths.
Lord, thank you for these moments in the middle of the night. Help me to have the grace of Christ – for them and for me. Help me, even when no one but you sees.