Sometimes I struggle with anxiety.  It really wasn't a problem until Christmas of last year when a nightmare completely rocked my world.  Since then, anxiety likes to show up occasionally for no good reason.  In the past week, that dreadful anxiety has returned.  I attempt to ignore it for fear of accepting something that already plagues my family.  But it is 4 in the morning and I have been running through scenarios in my head of how to keep my family safe in case of a fire or intruder.  I feel like I need to plan ahead just to be safe.  At this moment, the fear is crippling.  It's torture because all I want to do is sleep, but my racing heart and fearful mind won't let me.  

So I take a moment to calm myself and ask myself why I feel the need to be prepared.  The answer isn't difficult to find.  I want to feel safe, to feel protected.  Simply praying should be enough to satisfy that desire, yet I'm still awake, still terrified, still finding security in orchestrating plans and backup plans I will hopefully never have to use.  As I analyze my trembling heart, I realize that prayer doesn't comfort me because I don't have full faith in God's protection.  

My dad says, "Faith is easier to read about than it is to apply."  And he's right.  My spirit knows God is capable of taking care of me; He has done it before.  But my flesh fears that maybe He'll look away for one split second, maybe He's not always paying attention.  Maybe I can't trust Him to be there when I need Him most.  Even as I write this, I know that's not true.  But fear and faith collide here and I'm scared of being left on my own. 

We have two fairly new kittens in our household.  Their first night here was spent discovering their new home.  My youngest sister stayed up with the curious felines, gently guiding them through the night and protecting them from any potential danger they made for themselves.  But as the sun began to rise, she crashed.  She needed her sleep.  She did what she could, but she eventually met a moment she could no longer ignore.  The kittens were on their own.

Sometimes I treat God as if I believe He has fallen asleep at the wheel, as if He tires of constantly watching and guiding and protecting.  But His Word says otherwise: "...He that keepeth thee will not slumber.  Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." (Psalm 121:3-4)  And what better way to confront fear and lies than with the truth of God's Word?

I don't understand why bad things happen, why the things I fear late at night happen to other people.  Even if you were to explain some theological reason, the justification wouldn't be sufficient.  But I do know a loving God who never sleeps on the job.  I know a God of purpose, even when that purpose is hidden from these faithless eyes.  And I know a patient God who never turns His heart away from my doubting one.

Child of God, no matter what you are facing, rest assured that you are serving a God that never sleeps.  He is making provision for you.  He is blocking and unlocking all the wrong and right doors.  He is protecting you.  He is loving you.

My trembling heart settles.  I can sleep because I serve a God that doesn't.  God bless.

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