Young Mother and Young Father were having a terrible night. Baby was fussy, feeding at a rate of a middle school boys soccer team, and sleep was a thing of the past. A twentieth attempt at nursing in three hours was soothing to Baby, but Young Parents were SPENT. As in ran-the-marathon with a high fever spent. As in government deficit-spending spent. There was nothing left in their sleep vaults.
Young Father moved zombie-like to the changing table to change the 812th diaper of the night. Baby had somehow completely wet the crib, and now needed a total changing.
After blow-drying the crib mattress, Young Father, still in the aforementioned state of being TOTALLY SPENT, went to install a dry diaper. Unfortunately, he neglected to protect himself from the possibility of rain showers at 2AM, and lo and behold, it rained. He cleaned up from that up-pour and returned Baby to Young Mother.
Now immersed in cleaning up the rest of the aftereffects of the storm, which included the changing pad, the crib sheet, the baby onesie, and parts of Young Father himself, he looked heavenward to pray to Almighty God and noticed something odd on the ceiling.
Young Mother at this point was sitting up in the bed, using rote to guide her through the next feeding. Suddenly Young Father stopped his cleaning activity and spoke to her in low, measured tones.
“Young Mother, I want you to calmly collect Baby and move to the other side of the room.” In her confused and DID I MENTION TOTALLY SPENT STATE, Young Mother blinked uncomprehendingly at her spouse. “I want you to move NOW,” he continued.
She moved just seconds before the large, winged, fanged, and possibly virulent COCKROACH flew from the ceiling directly above her head, down to the place where Young Father stood holding a dripping bundle-cloth and a baby outfit still warm from its owner.
A battle, the likes of which Game of Thrones only HOPED to portray, ensued. Young Father could not locate a shoe or heavy object nearby, and literally punched the roach twice with his bare fist. But as he went to retrieve a paper towel, the unthinkable happened as Young Mother watched from her corner…the roach arose from the dead.
In Lazarus-like fashion, it went from prostrate on the floor to arching his shiny black back like he was in the finals of a B-Boy breakdance competition. Up from the grave he arose, and re-located underneath a 300 pound dresser. Young Father, quite full of dead-of-night-alarm-adrenaline actually managed to shift the dresser, but Laz was on the move now, having had a better night’s sleep than poor Young Father.
Now the real stress began…to try to resume night-time routines (sleep? What’s sleep?) with a resurrected cockroach on the loose.
Have you ever lost sleep over things that go bump in the night? Do you wake up sometimes feeling under attack by the thoughts, words, actions, and situations you experienced during the day that come at you in the dark, disrupting your sleep?
So did David:
Psalm 3 Common English Bible (CEB)
3 Lord, I have so many enemies!
So many are standing against me.
2 So many are talking about me:
“Even God won’t help him.” Selah
3 But you, Lord, are my shield!
You are my glory!
You are the one who restores me.
4 I cry out loud to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain. Selah
5 I lie down, sleep, and wake up
because the Lord helps me.
At the end of a long night, the sun arose, and Young Mother and Father went about their day. God provided enough sleep, and they discovered that when they cry out to the Lord, he answers from the holy mountain. Sleep came because the Lord helped them.
When you feel your enemies flying fang-first from the ceiling of your bedchamber in the middle of the night, remember that the Lord is your shield. He is your glory! He comes to restore you, and he hears your cries for deliverance.
In the dawn of the rising sun, Old Nana picked up a suitcase from the floor and out ran Lazarus. She commanded him back into the grave with a decisively fatal WHACK with a shoe. She even spoke words of committal over him as she flushed him to his watery grave. Peace reigned once again in the house.
May it also be with you tonight.
Nighttime Falls in Ocracoke by Rendy King.