On Wednesday I woke up at my normal 3:00 a.m.
Wrote a blog post.
And then stretched out on the couch downstairs to go back to sleep for a few hours, like I do most nights of the week.
Except I could not go back to sleep.
And on this particular Wednesday I was going to be making the first leg of a 12-hour drive to visit my mom in Wyoming. Of all days to have insomnia.
I turned on the couch and let a tear roll.
Right then I became mindful of my brothers and sisters in Christ who were suffering around the world. I wondered what kind of misery and discomfort they were in. I imagined they would be glad for a sleepless night, if only it were in a warm, safe house under a cozy blanket.
I once read the words of a Christian woman who was in a prison camp for her faith, and she said she could feel the comfort when others outside the camp were praying for her.
Lord, comfort and provide for my brothers and sisters who are enduring hardship for your name this morning, I prayed.
Then my mind went to a worn-in memory verse.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4 NIV)
This trial of facing a long day on little sleep -I could think of it as joy.
What if someday the test of faith is more than a restless night? What if it’s persecution?
If I could not persevere through the trial of not sleeping, how would I ever make it through the intense fire that may one day come to me as a follower of Christ?
So I made a decision to bend my knees to what the Lord was doing in me through insomnia.
What work is this accomplishing in my soul, Father?
I also decided to use my fatigue as a reminder to pray for those who suffer. All along the highway, from northern Montana to the middle of Wyoming, when I felt exhausted and like I could not drive another minute, I turned my moaning into prayers for others.
What hard thing are you going through today –and how are you choosing to think about it?