When’s the last time you cried out to God?
Mine was about 6 hours ago. . .in the middle of the night. . .with a screaming feverish infant in the other room.
I put my fingers in my ears and cried out to the Lord. I was (I am) exhausted. I have a baby that has mysterious health issues and I am emotionally spent. Add a little tummy virus and no sleep, and it’s the perfect condition to render me desperate and helpless. . .the kind of condition that drives me to my knees in prayer.
When’s the last time you were on your knees? Do you try to avoid those moments? I do. I get a little Jonah in me and set out on a predetermined path of bliss and comfort, and I do not, I repeat, I do not choose the road less traveled. Give me the four lane, fast flowing highway straight to Yogurtland.
But God intercepts. (Thankfully.) And reminds us of our need for him. He reminds us of the narrow path and that he is the Way the Truth and the Life. Things happen. And then we realize we’re not in control. No matter how you swaddle or rock or feed or sing, the baby may still cry. We are never in control, but we need these little 2am wake up calls to remind us. The wake up calls, the desperation, the helplessness-they remind us of who we are and who Jesus is. The wake up calls are an opportunity to give glory to our Savior and give him Lordship of our life (taking that role away from me, away from my circumstance-it is God who rules).
And while I prefer these wakeup calls happen at more convenient times like at an 8:30pm Passion concert, the truth is, our heart is sometimes most ripe for Jesus in the desperate moments.
Take a look at Hezekiah, a king of Judah, who was on his deathbed with illness. He cried out to the Lord and the Lord saved him. Hezekiah responded, “I cried like a swift or thrush, I moaned like a mourning dove. My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens. I am troubled, O Lord, come to my aid! But what can I say? He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this. I will walk humbly all my years because of this anguish of my soul. Lord, by such things men live, and my spirit finds life in them too. Your restored me to health and let me live. Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” Isaiah 38:14-17
These moments-these deathbed moments (2am feels like death sometimes)-these are for our benefit. They cause us to walk humbly before our God because we are not in control, and they reveal our deeper need for Jesus-the soul saving, sin forgiving need of a Savior.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his good purpose.” The good may not be the sleep we want, or the change we crave, or the answers we ask for; the good may be a humility in our souls to say that Jesus is King and we are not.
So tonight, if I’m up at 2am, I might just be soaking in the truth that God is in control and I am not, and that anything that leads me to that realization is good. . .even if it comes with a lot of tears.
“Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7