The Break Of Dawn

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” (Mark 1:35 NIV)

Sometimes, it is hard for me to sleep. I wake up every hour.

In the past, I resented this interruption to my sleep, because rest is crucial to my well-being. I found myself frustrated and irritable when I tried, unsuccessfully, to go back to sleep. I read or watched the television, until I stopped and meditated on this passage. I wondered what would happen if I stopped fighting against the insomnia and used this time as a time of prayer.

The experiment has transformed my life.

The house is silent and free from the frenetic pace of our family. The neighborhood is still. My soul calms down as I accept the fact that the possibility of sleep is gone.

I am able to free my mind from the endless lists of things to do and enter into a time of prayer that is unhurried, spontaneous, and open to God. This uninterrupted time provides me with opportunity to pray as long as I feel the need. I am able to sit silently before God, to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and to pray without feeling pressured to rush through a quick prayer until I have the time to pray properly.

Even on the days when I lose sleep, I find that God always provides me with the strength and energy I need to get through my day.

As I view the “interrupted” nights as a special opportunity to spend time with God, I find myself struggling less often and relaxing a little more each time. I have even learned to anticipate and enjoy the first rays of sunshine that announce the new day.

Many of us will find ourselves awake while the rest of the world sleeps. When we remember that God neither slumbers nor sleeps (Ps. 121:4), we can use that time to do like Jesus – get up early, go to a solitary place, and pray.

Dorothea lives in California with her husband and their two teenagers. Although she has endured the challenges of several chronic conditions for over 20 years, she trusts in God’s grace to help her get through each day. You may email her
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