Sleep Baby Sleep

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Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31

I haven’t slept in over a year. Some days I am tempted to tape my eyelids open. It’s my son Justice. He’s just not a sleeper. If you’re a mom you know just how many sleep “experts” there are out there and varying opinions of how to help your baby sleep through the live long night. Have you read author Ava Neyer’s take on sleep training? It’s hilarious because it’s true – no matter what the so-called experts say, some babies just don’t sleep. End of story.

Back to Justice. I don’t know what keeps my boy up at night. I’d like to think he’s busy solving the world’s problems or mind engineering the next great invention. However, he’s more likely to be day dreaming of milk and his toy airplanes he loves to fly around the house.

Two nights ago, as he lay awake in his crib singing to himself at 2am, I thought about how tired I was and wondered what I had done to my boy to make him hate me so much by refusing us both sleep. Minutes felt like hours and the night felt like days. I. Was. Tired.

As the night dragged on and Justice continued to be content awake in the night hours, so long as I was by his side, it was brutally apparent how fragile I am. Without sleep, I can’t think, my mind goes into crazy mode, wandering around from the next days to-do’s to I-wonder-if-Ellen-DeGeneres-will-finally-call-me-to-invite-me-on-as-guest-cohost.

My mind wandering led to reflection on how different – better – God and who He is as a heavenly parent is. In my sleepless state, I was reminded of how dependent I am upon my creator. While I’d like to sleep until the cows come home, God never sleeps. He never grows tired, needs a break, takes a time out, pushes the pause button or stops looking out for his creation, for his deeply loved kids.

As I stood over my son’s crib, waiting for his eye lids to become heavy enough they’d finally close, I thought about how God never shuts his eyes over me or over you. No, he is continually present with us and watches over us without fail day-in and day-out.

Several years ago, I was visiting family in Alaska where I saw a bald eagle soar over some of the most breathtaking and beautiful landscape. It was the first time I had seen such a beautiful creature in the wild. Eagles soar with their wings outstretched. It looked so graceful, almost floating in the crisp, cool, Alaska sky. I was surprised to learn eagles are fly challenged from the time they are hatched from their little eagle eggs. It takes several weeks for a baby eagle to learn to fly. And it’s not at all graceful. They first jump out of the nest onto a nearby branch. They hop from branch to branch, jumping a little further each time with their wings stretched out to feel the wind beneath them. Eventually they take the plunge and struggle to take flight. It’s not at all graceful.

Yet God says we will soar on wings like eagles. He must be talking about grown eagles, who have learned the art of flying, trusting in the wind beneath their wings – insert Bette Midler tear jerker Beaches song here – because baby eagles don’t know what they are doing. They need to learn how to jump and trust in the wind blowing beneath them.

It’s in our weakness, or in my case the other night, my tired, frail, bonkers state of mind that we can know without a doubt that God is constant, strong and always with us, lifting us up for His purpose and glory. How many times do I fret with matters in life out of my control, unable to rest and trust in my heavenly Father who knows all things and who holds all things together?

Justice eventually got to sleep the other night. Not for long, but he’s learning what it means to relax, rest, sleep and trust. Thanks for teaching me to do the same Justice.