Yesterday I wrote about the grace that meets you in the early morning hours. I wrote about the transforming grace that meets you in the discipline of waking up early and being with Jesus. Little did I know I'd be reading my own words in the middle of night last night and reminding myself that grace would meet me there, too.
Katherine has always struggled with sleep. It has slowly gotten better though. Nighttime definitely isn't as rough as it was two years ago, or even a year ago. We've just learned to adapt to what our family needs to do in order to stay sane and get sleep.
Last night, Katherine woke up at some point after midnight so upset. Fear had completely gripped her. I'm not sure if she had a bad dream or was just scared when she woke up in a pack-n-play and couldn't find us, but she woke up and cried a terribly awful cry. In those moments of just trying to help her catch her breath, I held her and prayed for the peace of Christ to wash over her. I prayed for grace to hold her. I prayed for Jesus to comfort her. I prayed for her little mind to be filled with calming love instead of crippling fear. Eventually she calmed down, and we all went back to sleep, but those awful cries shook my soul.
Those cries made me think of the countless people who are up in the middle of the night for so many different reasons. Loneliness, despair, anxiety, fear, physical pain, babies, emotional turmoil, work, distress, and such much more can be companions in the night. Those late night hours can be bleak and desolate and discouraging. But even in those late night hours, there is grace.
In the dark, grace arrives as light. In the silence, grace whispers the truth. In the pain, grace remains all sufficient.
The dark, the silence, the pain of the middle of the night brings real and raw prayers. The middle of the night hours foster authentic communication with Jesus. Those sacred hours remind us of our complete dependence of the Lord. And that dependence is surely grace.