At the end of what shouldn’t have felt like a stressful day, I felt so depleted, defeated, and just utterly exhausted both mentally and physically. There was no reason at all for it. I had spent the whole day relaxing with my family, taking in those little snuggle moments, taking advantage of the couch and our new found love of Disney+ for the day. When bedtime came around, I was so ready for bed I felt impatient for it. I made a conscious effort not to rush my kiddo off to bed, but to take our time, got her newly washed sheets on her bed, and looked forward to crawling into my own newly washed sheets and getting sucked into a good book.
The ups and downs of anxiousness for sleep but patience for the little moments all at once really made me stop in my tracks. As soon as the kiddo was tucked into bed, the house was silent. The noises of clothes drying and dishes washing added to a comforting stillness that had suddenly washed over my home. At that moment I was no longer anxious for my bed. All at once I had a sudden peace wash over me and it hit me - I was not anxious for sleep, I was anxious for peace.
I’d been praying for peace all day long, asking God to please slow me down and help me take full advantage of this gift called time. Help me to be still and trust in Him and His grace and provisions. I had it in my mind from the moment I woke up that I would take the whole day to relax with my family, and many times that was tested and temptations arose to completely strip my focus from the precious moments. In all, though, at the end of the day I see that the wash of exhaustion was a couple of things. It slowed me down today and gave me a sense of ease, even when tough stuff came up it was not the kind of exhaustion that made me overly emotional; it was the kind that made me stop and think more before responding to difficulty. It was also an answer to my prayers; for God to help me be still.
It's so important we remember that God rarely answers our prayers the way we expect Him to. Sometimes God gives us an answer in a way that at first seems like a burden, but when we stop and clear the complaining away, get past the groaning, and allow ourselves to be realigned with Him we see that it was a blessing all along.
Now as I get ready to tuck myself in for the night, I am thanking God for answering my prayers in ways I didn’t notice or comprehend at the time. God is always with us, always working, always helping and guiding. The closer we get to Him, the more natural it is to hear Him and follow His guidance without even necessarily realizing we are doing it. But also, the closer we get to Him the more we see the blessings in the chaos.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10