Quaint, I thought, as I checked into the Locomotive Inn. It was a stop-off on the 12-hour drive to visit my mom over spring break. Then I woke up at 2:30 in the morning to realize Oh, a locomotive! I made a mental note to think more literally next time I was motel shopping.
The train whistled only a stone’s throw from my room, leaving me wide awake, and worries began rolling through my mind.
All kinds of worries: money stuff, kid stuff, car stuff, school stuff, what-am-I-gonna-make-for-Easter-dinner stuff.
I worked the pillow a good one, as I tried sleeping on every side of me with no success. Anxiety about all of life grew, until I became a blurry-eyed, sheet-twisting pile of panic. (Isn’t nighttime the worst?) A feeling of helplessness filled me, but then the Lord snapped his fingers loud and got my attention with the word helpless.
Helpless, yes. I don’t like it.
Pride had me twisting and turning under the covers, because I wanted control of all the things. I wanted control! I wanted to know there would be enough money for everything. I wanted to know our old cars would keep going. I wanted to know I could pull off Easter dinner like a boss.
I said the word helpless once in disgust and then a second time in humble confession, and it was then the Lord lifted my eyes to his face and smiled. Look at me, he said. There in the night I started to see his qualities go by like train cars. Powerful. Rich. Provider. Shepherd. Father. All-seeing. Path Straightener. Caring.
Smooth and rhythmic, I turned from my list of worries and started working through the new list.
Wheels-a-turning, just like in the little picture book we used to read to Caleb when he was little.
God is able. God is able. God is able.
And with that I slipped into a restful sleep.
Psalm 29:2 says:
…worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. (NIV)
This is the remedy for all the churning, worrisome thoughts in our minds, to stop and think about who God is and what he can do. It takes mental effort, but it is this track of thinking that brings us to perfect peace. Will you say the word “helpless” over yourself today and then purposefully admire the One who is not?