Psalm 33:13-15, 17-18, 22 The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. . . Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—for all its strength, it cannot save you. But the Lord watches over those who fear him. . . Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.
I know some people who do this frequently, but for me it was a new experience to fly to the exact opposite side of the world, with a time change of twelve hours, my first visit to Asia. I gained a new appreciation of jet lag: unable to sleep at night and struggling to stay awake in the afternoons of an intense schedule. Once my body started to adjust to Singapore time, we were off to the airport for a fifteen-hour flight to San Francisco, then across three more time zones to Washington DC, and finally home to Pittsburgh. I felt like I had been run over by a truck. I managed to unpack, start laundry, buy groceries, sort through the mail, send a couple of time-sensitive emails, and make a meal, but then I hit a wall. It’s been a long time since I have felt so completely flattened. My admiration for those who handle this regularly has leaped to new heights.
Here’s the thing: We are so vulnerable to the effects of sleep deprivation that it’s even used as a method of torture. But God never sleeps. We experience fatigue, but he never gets tired. He watches over us, over all who live on earth, all the time. He understands our needs, our fragility and dependency, because he made us. No matter what time zone we’re in, or how confused that makes us, or any of the myriad reasons we may have trouble sleeping, his care for us is steadfast and reliable. At the same time, he is equally caring for and available to people in other places and cultures far away from our own.
We got home Wednesday, and today (Friday) I’m back on an airplane, on my way to speak at a women’s retreat. Wednesday night I slept straight through the night, so I thought, hmm, that was an easy adjustment. Last night, though, I hardly slept at all, despite telling myself how important it was to arrive at this retreat rested. I’m curious how God will redeem this situation, for the sake of the dear women who have committed this weekend to participation in retreat. I’m not often so acutely aware of how inadequate depending on my own resources (my “warhorses”) will be.
What joy to be able to acknowledge my limitations and relax into the Lord’s love, surrounding me—and all of us—24/7!