It has been awhile since this has happened, but tonight I find that I am unable to sleep. I should be passed out in dreamland, but I find myself sitting on the couch at 1:30 am in the morning with a rerun episode of NCIS playing in the background.
The past two days I have been suffering through the usual bout of spring allergy related sinus drainage issues. My doctor has told me that I am chronically allergic to Ohio. So you would think that I would have no trouble achieving a sleeping state.
But I can’t turn my thoughts off and they are going 100 miles per hour.
As I laid in the darkness trying to recover my sleeping state, the frustrations I have been experiencing at work kept playing through my head.
The frustrations are nothing new. A feeling that I am stuck where I am are now is amplified as we are in the process of buying a home. My lack of an actual degree makes me feel that my options are limited for moving on from where I am because we definitely can’t afford for my salary to go backwards at this point. Coupled with the need to replace staff members that have found better opportunities and are moving on, and there is a lot on the work front to weigh down my thoughts.
So in an attempt to quiet my mind I turned to the Lord in prayer.
I asked him to walk with me and lead me as I navigate the stormy waters. And to bring us the right candidates in the interviews that are scheduled over the next few days. And to take me by the hand and guide me to whatever he has in store for me in the future because I just don’t feel that I have arrived at the place he has intended for me yet.
You see, when I went down this career road, I never asked God what his opinion on my choice was. So while I do a good job at what I do, is this really the purpose He intended for me?
However, while I didn’t ask for his guidance then, He won’t abandon me now. After shaking his almighty head at my human folly, he rolled up his sleeves to see how he can use my errant choices to prepare me for what is in store down the road.
These feelings have been intensified in me for the last couple of years. He has been giving me nudges that I have been trying to pursue, so I know that he has exciting plans for me.
So back to my current insomniac condition.
After praying fervently to God, and asking him to give me some guidance or signs that I couldn’t possibly miss, I finally gave up on trying to sleep and made my way out to the couch, the repeat episode, and Facebook.
I have read about people who have prayed for clear answers from God and that in his mercy God has given them undeniably clear signs or answers. While I can see many answered prayers in my life, I can’t say that I have ever felt as if I was receiving clear messages from above.
After turning on the tv, I immediately fired up the laptop to check in on Facebook, because I was certain that in the time between fitfully going to sleep at 10:00 p.m. and ending up back out on the couch at 1:00 a.m. I had missed something of vital importance on the cosmic social scene. Turns out God uses social media too.
In relatively short order I saw three things that could only have been encouragement from heaven. The first was a post from the Zig Ziglar page:
This post was quickly followed by a Stephen King quote posted by The Writers Circle:
And to finish up these thoughts, a friend shared this picture from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine:
Perhaps it is a little far-fetched that God is using social media to encourage me. It is entirely possible that I am reading too much into simple pictures randomly posted on Facebook. However I am choosing to believe that random posts can be messages from above in direct response to my fitful prayers brought on during moments of sleeplessness.
I serve a loving God who cares about me. He cares about each and every one of his children. Nothing is too vast or great for him. He is the Almighty God that created the universe and you and me. And he cares.
He may not have given me specific directions for how to fix my work situation, but He is with me. I don’t know what God has planned for me down the road, but I do know that He will lead me to the doors that He will be holding open specifically for me.
God has an ultimate plan for my life, and he is holding me in the palm of his hand.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24, NRSV)