“My not sleep now” insisted my 2 year old son this lunch time, despite my best efforts to coax him in to a slumbering state (including me reaching said state without him). I knew he was tired, and especially so due to a lingering cold, so I pulled him in close for a mama cuddle but he arched away, resisting my lullabies and caresses indicating that this was indeed the best thing for him. I eventually relented and shut the stair gate, much to his dismay, allowing him to potter in his darkened room in desperate hope that he would take himself off to sleep.
He did not.
And as I climbed the stairs a short while later, my red cheeked, bleary eyed little boy reached out to me and said “Need a cuddle.” A cuddle (and necessary nappy change) later, and my previously boisterous boy had ceased careering round his room with a duplo car and was now completely relaxed in my arms, clutching his favourite bear. He looked at me through sleepy eyes and said “my sleep now” and promptly closed his heavy eyelids, causing my heart to melt as he gave me the most adorable view of his chubby little face, cherub like lips and exquisite eyelashes.
Oh if only you had done this sooner and saved yourself the fight, I thought to myself, as I held my precious bundle close. I leaned in to bury my face in his soft, wispy hair, inhaling the soapy scent of my second born and God whispered to me “Me too.”
You see, as parents we have a different perspective on our children, we know what is right for them, what they can handle, what they need (and what they don’t), and our heavenly Father is no different. He knows how long you can take enduring that illness, that overbearing boss, that rogue relationship. He knows how far you can take that project or that ministry and he knows when you need to stop, take time out, hand it over or move on or simply and rest awhile.
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 NIV
So often in our lives we try and do things in our own timing and in our own strength, and it is nothing short of exhausting. We end up tired, red cheeked and bleary eyed, crying out to God, why? Why is this happening? Why can’t I run round doing what I want to do? Why can’t I have that house/job/relationship/ministry?
But God is saying to us just wait a while, precious one, I know what you need and what you can handle right now and in the future. Allow your heart, mind, body and soul the chance to breathe, to rest and ultimately to grow.
It is no secret that the body does most of its growth and repair while we sleep, and so in order to be strong enough to take the next challenge and move in to the next season we need to make sure that we rest in God. Take time out to be still in his presence today. Listen to some worship music, light a candle and read a psalm or two before allowing your mind to drift in to the heavenly realms where your heavenly Father is waiting to draw you close, bury his face in your hair and shower your head with kisses.