Last night I couldn't sleep.That's been happening lately, so I devised a plan. From now on when I can't sleep, I'll get up and read my hymnal. Yep, you read me right. Sometimes I can sing myself to sleep with hymns memorized long ago, but when my legs won't relax in bed, it's hard to remember the songs unless I mentally go through the alphabet. So last night I got up, put on a jacket against the coolness of the house, picked up the hymnal from its permanent place on the piano, and sat in my favorite chair.
At the front of my hymnal are the songs praising God, the Creator. Most of these I know, or at least I can read the music, so I had no trouble singing them in my mind. Within a verse or two (I sang all of the verses) I sensed something I've been missing: awe, praise, wonder, joy, and peace. But don't misinterpret that last word to mean rest, or even that I was getting sleepy. I wanted more, more of this sense of God's presence.
I finally settled on the hymn I'd go to sleep with because I'd learned all three verses as a child. "This is My Father's World" directs me to listen for the sounds of nature, the music of the spheres. It says the carols sung by birds, the beauty of white lillies, and the dawn of each day will tell me something new about my Creator. Finally the writer of the hymn assures me that "though the wrong seems oft so strong," God is still in charge. The battle with sin is not finished, but one day, Jesus, who gave his life for me will be satisfied, when earth and heaven are one.
I rather hope I stay awake again tonight.