Do you have a hard time shutting your brain off at night? Do you have a hard time with unresolved problems? Are you sometimes tossing around creative ideas in your mind, when you should be sleeping?
I often wake up around 3 in the morning, and the things and people I am most concerned about are like weights pulling at my heart. There are some things I have no control over. There is a good chance I will be able to put those cares in God’s hands after a couple of short prayers (it has taken practice). It is the things that I can do something about that have been harder for me to put aside until tomorrow. I like to problem solve and look at things from every angle to find the best solution. I try to tune my ear to Gods heart and voice about complex challenges and creative pursuits, and wait for strategies that He will give me. However, I am pretty sure I am not usually supposed to be doing this in the middle of the night. I think if God gives me lengthy ideas and/or solutions in the night it will usually come in a dream, because He gave me this human need for sleep.
Still I recently found myself in this pattern of solving and creating when I really needed to be dozing off, and I was paying for it the next day with drowsiness. Sometimes the best way for God to get through to me is a word picture, so I asked the Lord (in the middle of the night!) for one to help me. I sensed a quick reply. It was short and humorous, and made me smile.
Solving problems and making creative plans in the night is like shoveling snow off of the driveway, with only your hands.
This was a funny image to me…and it helped me cease striving, stop thinking, and go back to sleep! I realized that He was saying that I am just not as cognitively equipped in the night as I am in the morning (no wonder the problems appear larger!). In other words, at daybreak, He will (figuratively speaking) provide a shovel and maybe even a snow blower to enable me to make some significant progress. And sometimes His plan may even be to surprise me, by taking care of the whole thing before I wake up. He may send a giant snowplow, or some daybreak sun rays that start melting the snow.
Thank you Lord, that you help me trust you so that I can rest my body and my mind. Thank you that I can jot a creative idea down on a notebook by my bed, and explore it further in the morning. Thank you that you modeled peaceful sleep for me — even in a storm!
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep… Luke 8:23-25 (ENG)
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)
…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1Peter 5:7 (NKJV)
…For He gives [blessings] to His beloved even in his sleep.
Psalm 127:2 (AMP)