The last month or so, I haven’t slept much. I’m hoping that all this remodel work drives the sleeplessness, so that when the project ends, I’ll resume sleeping more normally, but I don’t think that’s going to be the magic bullet I want. Whatever the cause – if there is one – I’ve struggled to adapt to operating on three or fewer hours of sleep per night. I’m not caffeine user normally; never have been; but some days I get up tired enough to need a little chemical assistance to get through the morning. Masking chronic fatigue isn’t a long-term solution, but once every week or two it helps.
Through all this, through all the long, dark, sleepless hours, I’ve kept thinking of the Bible verse in Zechariah 4:6, ” ‘Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD.” This is taking the verse rather out of context, as God was talking about the restoration of the temple, but for me lately this verse has made me think about the fact that while I’m at the end of my endurance, God’s endurance is infinite.
I would never choose to go without sleep voluntarily — I value sleep and being well rested above most other things, and good sleep habits were the one thing Ian and I chose to emphasize with Benji as a baby. I have always protected my sleep, and made time to get at least 8 or 9 hours of sleep a night, so I’m well rested for the next day. So this period of sleeplessness and feeling exhausted every day isn’t just about getting tired; it touches on something I value more deeply than most other things. Losing my sleep feels like a smoker losing his cigarettes. I love my sleep.
But through this month I’ve slowly come to wonder if God is trying to reach me something through this experience. Perhaps, although it’s painful and difficult, this nighttime wakefulness may be an opportunity to learn to rely more on God’s strength rather than my own. But maybe it takes reaching the end of my strength for me to finally let go of the illusion that I have enough strength in the firmeanwhile I’d never voluntarily give up that rest, but maybe it’s what I need to keep growing in my faith.
I don’t know. But I keep trusting that it will pass eventually, and meanwhile, I’ll practice relying on strength greater than my own.