The Sweet Presence of God

Most nights, I don’t have any trouble sleeping. Although I do wake up earlier than most, I enjoy starting my day in quiet reflection. I haven’t used an alarm clock in years. My internal clock naturally wakes me when it is time to get up, which is much more pleasing than a loud noise.

Occasionally, it is harder to fall asleep, especially if thoughts from my day are still roaming around like a night owl. It is usually only when I have not had a chance to calm down and get sleepy before bed. If I don’t doze off in the living room first, I might as well not even try to go to bed.

Sometimes I wake up extremely early, even for me, and can’t go back to sleep. In the past, those times frustrated me because I knew I had to work the next day and that it would be difficult to get past three o’clock without being exhausted (I call these the three o’clock yawns). But recently, when those times have occurred, I am more prone to think that God is waking me up to bless me with His presence because I have learned to use the time to communicate with Him instead of worrying and watching the clock, which never helps.

Sometimes, I pray about what was on my mind when I fell asleep or what suddenly shows up once I am awake. Other times, I meditate on something in His Word that I read that day or take the opportunity to communicate with Him through praise and thankfulness as I lay there in the dark. It is also an excellent time to talk out any potential worries that come up so I can give them to Him instead of letting them linger too long.

During these wee morning hours, God shows up in all His sweetness and gently reminds me that He is in control and I have nothing to fear. I consider any time spent with God in the quietness of these moments a sacred space that the Holy Spirit fills with sweet peace and joy, a blessing, even if I think I should be asleep. This has given me a new perspective and allowed me not to see these times as frustrating but as a gift from a Father who lovingly holds me in His hands and sometimes even redeems any sleep loss with a glorious nap later in the day, which is another gift.

There is such a sweetness about the presence of God that brings joy to our hearts no matter the circumstances and melts away all fear and worry, knowing He will provide.

“Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” (Ps. 100:2, ESV Emphasis mine).

For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence” (Ps. 21:6, ESV Emphasis mine).

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