I'm here in my bed. The hour is late. My mind is full. And when the light goes off, the darkness comes alive with leering fears. Fears of what the future holds for me...fear of the pain that this night holds. The pain that wakens me, with streaming tears to stumble stiffly out of bed and to fumble my way to the hall, to "walk it off;" this pain that cannot be outwalked or outrun. The pain that will send me fish flopping into my recliner and then back to bed seeking some kind of relief....relief that will not come despite my best efforts.
I am afraid too, Lord, of the more distant future. Fear that my hip will dislocate again...at a time when I cannot get help and will be left alone to suffer in the silent house, enduring that pain which, I am sure, could kill a person from its very intensity. Fear. That my future holds more pain. Worse pain (although that seems unimaginable and impossible) ...Disability as part after body part ceases to function...with increasing loss of independence. increasing helplessness and dependence...on what I don't know...because there is nothing and no one to depend on but you, Lord.
Fear. of financial catastrophe. Of the time when my husband due to age or illness must cease to work...and then we will be left to face the consequences of having no savings or financial plan or pension. Fear of what the current tide in politics and medicine may bring my way as expensive treatment may easily become withheld from a money-sucking hopeless example of non-productivity such as I. Fear of what will happen when my cervical discs finally collapse or the bony growths with are currently flattening and compressing my spinal cord finally sever or severely impinge on it.
The night is populated and inhabited by it.
I breathe it in. I breathe it out.
Lord where are you in this pervasive darkness? I reach out my hands...grasping. And
And despite the mockery of the night, I have peace somewhere in my chest; because there is a knowledge outside of my cowardice, that there exists a God; who is bigger and Other than my fear and doubt. A God who is NOT. NOT like anything else; who isn't compelled to please me or answer to me and who is not threatened by my fear nor my questions...and yet who is a huge IS. A God who can roar into the silence of my night; into the howling dark wilderness of my doubt and boom his answer and his self explanation in two words: I AM. That is it. All of the assurance we need. All of the answer to our fear. To our doubt. The simple fact of his existence is the resolution and sufficiency for every need; every gaping lack.
It is the statement which is the answer to every one of our inadequacies both of character, and supply. I AM- all you could want or need; I AM the extinguisher of fear; I AM what will get you through the darkness of your nights, the uncertainties of your tomorrows. I AM HOLY, HOLY, HOLY...the LORD God Almighty ,,...who was and IS and yet will be. Fear not, little one, I am here. I am with you --ALWAYS...EVEN WHEN THE WORLD ROCKS ON ITS FOUNDATIONS AND MELTS IN TO THE SEAS...I am with you now and will be with you through your nights. I will uphold you by your hand; will ride the winds to help you; will hold you so that when you stumble you WILL NOT FALL....because I am there to lift you up. I will be there in your dark nights when pain threatens to rock and roar over you.
Here, take my Peace which I am offering you. Peace which no one else will or can understand. Peace that will carry you because it is embedded in the bedrock of trust. And your trust is mounted in the verity of my existence and in the truth of my promises. It is grounded in who who and what I AM. So do not fear, little one; little trembling Child of Clay. Do not quiver and shake....merely curl up into my strength and let ME worry about those tomorrows. And rest in the fact of my Presence and in my promise never to leave you nor to forsake you; NOR to give you anything that is bigger than I can handle for you.
And I smile into the darkness at the God who somehow manages in two words not to coddle but to give a cuddle. And I know now that sleep or no sleep; pain or no pain...I am safe. I am loved.
Amen and Amen