At 3:30 in the morning on 2/22/22, I woke up to hail beating on my windows. I didn’t get out of bed immediately though. My husband Ben was out of town, so my youngest son Alex was already sound asleep and secure in my bed. I hoped that my other kids would sleep through it. I was wrong. Within a few seconds, Clay, my twelve-year-old, came in, followed immediately by sixteen-year-old Jed holding his phone up with the flashlight shining in my face. Riley, my eighteen-year-old daughter, was right on their heels. They were startled and couldn’t sleep from all the noise.
So, I got out of bed and went to the front to better assess the situation. Hail inundated the windows and house; the sound was almost deafening. We looked out the front door to see the ground and sidewalks covered in marble sized ice. The hailstorm stopped just a few minutes after it started. Alex was still asleep in my bed. One kid settled on the couch and the other two ambled back upstairs to their rooms. The storm was over, and we resumed our rest.
I admit I kind of loved the way the kids came running to me when the storm started, when the noise became unbearable, when the stress rattled them. Especially now that my children are older, it’s nice to feel needed, to know I still provide a source of comfort and security for them. I wonder if we do the same when we struggle with stress and anxiety. Do we immediately run to God for comfort and security? Or do we hesitate? I think we often try to solve our problems on our own before we turn to God. We may decide we don’t want to bother God with our troubles when there are so many terrible problems in the world.
But God is constantly available at all times of the day and night to help us in our times of need. The Psalmist said, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:1-4).
Being the word nerd that I am, I looked up the definition of slumber as compared to sleep. Slumber is to sleep lightly or to be in a state of inactivity (dictionary.com). In college, I sometimes sat on my bed with my back propped up against the wall, eyes closed, in the middle of the afternoon. When my friends would ask if I was going to sleep, I would say, “I’m just resting my eyes” because I was sort of awake and sort of not. If my friends piqued my interest with their conversation, I would rouse myself and join in. But I might get too comfortable in my state of inactivity and fall deeper into sleep.
God is not like me – God doesn’t doze in and out of consciousness. God doesn’t try to remain asleep in bed when the storm rages, hoping no one wakes up. God is already awake and aware. God is at the ready in every season, in every circumstance, at every turn. We can approach God at any moment with our hardships and our angst. We need not hesitate. Instead, let us run into God’s presence when the storms unsettle us knowing God watches and waits to be our refuge.