This is a uber-condensed version of the message I brought on Mother’s Day, 2007. Hard to imagine that it’s been 9 years since then. Entering into Mother’s Day weekend, I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy! ❤
Have you ever had to sit through the night with someone? Several years ago, a close friend of mine was on the brink of disaster as far as her marriage was concerned. She called me at about 1:00 in the morning and asked me to please come and sit with her and talk her through some things – and I went. And I sat. And I listened and cared.
Maybe you’ve sat through the night with someone like that. Five years ago, my mother and my sister sat with my grandmother through several long, hard nights, not knowing when that last night would come and go.
Or maybe you’ve kept night watch while a child was late for their curfew…or they were burning with fever…or they were worried…or they just needed to talk.
God left us with some very encouraging news through his prophet Isaiah when he said, “I am holding you by your right hand. I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, don’t be afraid, I am here to help you.” In the Message paraphrase, it says, “…I, your God, have a firm grip on you, and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
All-nighters are exhausting! It take a lot out of you physically…emotionally. During my years as a mom, I’ve worked the night shift. And through these years, there are a few things I’ve learned.
• When you and I are exhausted, God is not.
God never gets tired.
Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.”
Why would I look to mountains for help when I’ve got the One who made the mountains? It goes on to say that “He never slumbers or sleeps.” His eyelids never grow heavy…and He never sleeps.
Our inexhaustible God works the night shift. And he doesn’t fall asleep on the job. He doesn’t need sleep. He doesn’t need a nap.
Another thing I’ve learned…
• When it is all dark, God is at work.
When my son, CD, was about 8-9 years old, he developed chronic hives. He still deals with them now and then. His whole little body would swell up with the big red patches that would itch and get hot and, at night, keep him from sleeping.
When he was 10 years old, he had a pretty severe breakout of hives. It was so bad I was afraid I was going to have to take him to the hospital. But it was really late at night. So I just gave him some medicine, sang him a couple of songs…and then I just laid down on the floor beside him and cried and prayed for him.
That was a long, dark night. I didn’t sleep at all, because even when he was sleeping, I was afraid he would wake up with his throat swollen shut or his tongue swollen so much that he couldn’t breathe… But during that long, dark night, God was at work. CD woke up hive-free the next morning.
You know, bad stuff is badder at night. But there is great comfort in knowing that God is at work all night long.
• When you just can’t any more, God is
There comes a time, moms, when you can’t be everything to everybody. You can’t be everything to your kids, you can’t make every decision for them, you can’t protect them, you can’t be in all places at all times, you can’t always be there to lead them down the right path…and when you can’t even…God can. He just is!
God is the self-existent One. We had to have a creator…God didn’t.
We have to have food to survive…God doesn’t.
We need electricity for energy and heat…God is His own power source.
We need a purpose…God is His own purpose.
We get sick and hurt and killed and distracted and swayed and afraid…But God is never in danger. He’s never in jeopardy. He never gets shaky. He never gets nervous.
He is the Great I Am.
Christian speaker Louie Giglio once said, “If God is the Great I Am, then I am not!”
God has no library of instruction manuals. He has complete knowledge of all the mysteries of science…zoology, meteorology, psychology, geology, chemistry, physics, medicine, genetics…you name it, God knows it.
I don’t have to know it all. I can be in the dark. In fact, the bigger I make myself, the smaller I make God. But the smaller I am, the bigger God can be in my life. And as a result, it gives me bigger faith, bigger peace, bigger joy, bigger security.
This God who is big and strong and active and moving and compassionate and alive. He sits next to you when nobody else can or nobody else will. And He is always with you, even in the dark. He is the self-existent, eternal, never-changing, sovereign God. He is indescribable. He is irresistible. He is uncontainable.
And tonight, when your tired head hits the pillow, He will be the God who is working the night shift.
And as night-shift moms, there may be some questions you ask yourself as your children grow older and eventually leave home – or maybe they’ve already left home. I know I’ve wondered these questions.
You might wonder:
Who’s going to comfort them when they can’t sleep? God says, “I am.”
Who’s going to give them peace when they’re afraid?” God says, “I am.”
Who is going to be there with good advice about choices they need to make? God says, “I am.”
Who’s going to listen to them when they need someone to talk to? God says, “I am.”
Who’s going to be there when they feel overwhelmed by life? God says, “I am.”
“I always have been; I always will be; because I am the God who works the night shift.”