A few nights ago I was awakened by the sounds of soft crying somewhere in the foggy darkness of my bedroom. Traci had taken Benadryl before bed to curb the discomfort of 21 mosquito bites. She had earned these bites as a badge of honor serving as chief security officer in our oldest daughter, Mercy’s, lemonade stand endeavor the day before. Drowsiness, resulting from said Benadryl, had put Traci out of commission for midnight mommy duty. This left me to step up to serve and protect the crying child now presenting herself in our bedroom.
What is it about crying children in the middle of the night that leaves them completely incapable of verbal communication? Emmy, our youngest daughter had gone to bed a perfectly reasonable human being (except for the four trips to the bathroom). She was able to put words together. She was even able to form coherent sentences. But now, in the middle of the night…nothing. Sobs.
To put it mildly, emotions were running high. Emmy had first visited Benadryl-Traci’s side of the bed and was eventually sent to me with a slurred, “go geh dah…” They always try her first, because I tend to be short on comfort in the middle of the night. Tonight was no different. I promptly gave Emmy some fatherly advice, advice that I had given her countless times before, “Dry it up. It’s the middle of the night. You have to go get back in your bed, and go to sleep.” This rarely works, but I figure if I’m consistent, all of the girls in my house will learn to switch off their emotions and just “dry it up.” We aren’t there yet, so the crying continued. I heard Emmy wail on as she made her way across the house back to her room. The inevitable hit me like Miley Cyrus (on a wrecking ball). I was going to have to get up and calm Emmy down if either of us were going to sleep any time soon.
When I got to her room, I found her sitting straight up on her bed, still crying. With some coercion I finally got to the root of her great trauma. “I can’t find my blanket!!” she sobbed.
The blanket Emmy wanted was one of two very specific silky blankets that she sleeps with every night. It was either the dark pink polka-dot, or the solid light pink. Of course we have multiple versions of the beloved silky blanket. We learned a long time ago that depending on a single silky with no backup is a recipe for disaster. Emmy was actively kicking one blanket as far away from herself as possible as she cried for HER blanket. After looking for about 1.5 seconds, I found the solid light pink in the pile of covers she was showing so much aggression toward. In another second or two I had found the backup blanky peeking out from under her pillow. I covered her with one and stuffed the other into her arms to hold by her face. She breathed a sigh of relief and I reminded her that if she got out of bed again, armageddon would ensue and everything she loved would be destroyed.
When we’re faced with adversity, we can be so much like Emmy in the middle of the night. We lose our ability to think logically. When we’re sick, we almost forget what it’s like to be well. After three days with a runny nose, we give up on ever being healthy again and start asking God why he has forsaken us. When we have a financial need, we tend lose sight of all the times God has come through for us. In the dark, molehills fight for all they’re worth to appear as mountains.
Let me remind you today, victory is yours if you will not quit. Something amazing happens when we shift our focus off of the problem, fear, or discouragement and onto God’s goodness. It changes our whole perspective and fosters a sense of gratitude. Gratitude actually prepares the way for God to move on our behalf and propels us into victory. A grateful heart is our entry-point into God’s presence(Psalm 100:4-5), and in his presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
Here is your challenge for the week. Take five minutes and write down three times God has come through for you. Once you have it written down, hang onto it. Put it somewhere easy to find, or better yet, stick it in your bible. When you find yourself in the fog of discouragement or darkness, pull it out. Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness in your life. Just try focusing on His goodness and seeking His presence for a week. I promise you will see your adversity shrinking and your joy increasing.
I understand that many mountains really aren’t molehills. They’re mountains. If you find yourself facing a true mountain today, I do not want to minimize that pain or trauma you are going through (Here is Traci’s account of one of these real mountains we faced in our lives). But remember that even when you feel stuck in the midnight fog, God is always close. He is right by your side and even when you feel like you’ll never see the light again, morning is on the way.God is always close. Click To Tweet
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:9)
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