How a Sleepless Night Can Draw Us Nearer to God

After being booted from bed by a golden retriever, witnessing a miracle of the obvious.

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Posted in , Mar 16, 2022

Edward and Gracie

Every so often on these chilly spring nights I get up in the wee hours to use the bathroom. When I return, the warm spot I left behind in the bed is now occupied by Gracie, our golden retriever. She can’t steal my spot fast enough. 

Moving a 75-pound dog back to her own bed is no small task in the middle of the night. Invariably I knock over something and wake Julee, who grumbles at me to stop making noise.

Meanwhile Gracie is sleeping limply in my buckling arms. I lay her in her own bed only to have her suddenly leap up and beat me back to my spot. I glare at her in the dark. I’m fully awake now from my exertions. I’ll never get back to sleep.

“You win,” I whisper. “I give up.” 

I hear a satisfied sigh as I wander off in search of a place to rest and read a book and maybe nod off, except I left my book on the nightstand and don’t want to risk another commotion retrieving it. I make myself a cup of coffee instead and stand at the window staring into the dark for a long time and thinking of nothing until quietly, almost magically, night yields to a breath of light in the east and the far sky turns the color of the skin of a peach and day arrives. 

All at once I am amazed by the miracle of the obvious. Night becomes day as day will become night, the earth turns and turns, and God is in His heaven. 

And in our lives. All around me I can see His hand, in the rising of the sun and the turning of the earth, in the song of the birds who are welcoming spring, and in the patter of paws behind me, a hungry and well-rested golden retriever sitting demurely asking for breakfast. 

Maybe this is the way God reminds me of His glory, to wake me up to witness the miracle of another day.

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