Sleepless Nights

Hurricane Joaquin sat off the eastern seaboard this past weekend, stirring up excessive amounts of rain for the southern states. Though nothing like the flooding that occurred in South Carolina, Atlanta did have its share of unreasonably wet conditions too. The storms that pushed through our area were especially intense last Friday night. Normally the sound of the rain on the roof is a soothing serenade that lulls me into a comfortable deep


sleep. However, when I awoke at 3am, all I could think about was my son, Jason.  He was at that moment on an Order of the Arrow Boy Scout event, sleeping in a teepee… without his sleeping bag!

He’d called home earlier in the evening to tell his dad that he’d packed his a sleeping pad, rain gear and other supplies, but left his bag behind. Being conscious of the wet and chilly weather forecast, my protective “mom sense” kicked in, so I wondered out loud to Clif whether we should do something to help him. Brushing aside my concerns, he told me in a nonchalant manner that Jason would be fine. He added that even though he might be cold, he would get through it and would learn a lot from the experience. And of course, Clif was right. Jason was cold, and he did get wet, but when his dad picked him up the next evening, he was tired from lack of sleep, otherwise, perfectly OK.

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
~ James 1:4

You know, we are a lot like Jason was on his camp out. While we perfer our lives to be filled with sunshine and blue skies; cool temperatures and low humidity… and definitely, no rain… God knows that sometimes the best thing for us is to endure a cold, wet sleepless night without a sleeping bag. Those times are unpleasant, but the truth is that we learned much more by being forced to persevere through a difficult situation than we ever do when we are safe and snug in a warm blanket.

So if you are shivering through the rain of trouble, and asking God to rescue you, it just might be that He leaves you where you are for the time being, knowing that the result of your perseverance will mature your faith and equip you for the future. But be assured, that even though you may feel alone, God is close by and will never leave you or forsake you. (Heb. 13:5) Trust in His promise that though “weeping may last for the night, … a shout of joy comes in the morning.” Ps. 30:5


27 thoughts on “Sleepless Nights

  1. Sometimes it is hard being a parent however it looks like you have raised a very capable son. Thanks for sharing this experience with us at #WednesdaysWisdom.

    1. I told him just yesterday that I appreciate him letting me share his cold wet night story, because it has encouraged so many people. Then he said, he was glad that he forgot his sleeping bag if it helped others! How much do we all need that kind of perspective and willingness to endure so that others may benefit from our difficulties! Thanks for reading!

  2. Well done Karen! I love that verse in James, and in the Amplified Bible it reads “Let your endurance and steadfastness” and here’s that hard to envision word…”PATIENCE have full play…” Lord, give me PATIENCE, right now!

    1. Funny that we demand patience, isn’t it? but probably way too close to reality for how we think about it. I’ve come to believe that the only way to “get” patience is to be put in situations where we will normally be impatient. As we learn to depend on the Spirit in those anxious moments, then HE supplies supernaturally what we do not have in our own strength. Thanks again Mel!

  3. Great application from real life. It is hard, though, as a parent to watch our children learn things the “cold, wet, sleepless night without a sleeping bag way.” But so true that there are things that can only be learned that way, both physically and spiritually.

    1. Yes, it’s harder on us to let kids learn these kinds of lessons than it is to run in and save them. But unfortunately, when we do that, we rob them of the lessons too. Thanks for commenting!

  4. I really loved your post and your parenting wisdom. I think, as parents, there is a temptation to protect our children from any negative event, or consequence – but preparing for real life, requires some wisdom gained from tight or tough places. Thanks for sharing your experience! I’m visiting you from Counting Your Blessings.

  5. Sweet story, Karen! I’m impressed with your parenting skills–or rather, your self-control! I probably would have run to meet his needs. Yet, he survived and learned from it. Great lesson!

  6. I know that trouble is really hard and I’m like everyone else and don’t want to go thro’ it but my husband always tells me that flowers don’t grow on the mountain top but in the valley !! Looking back on hard time makes me realize that that is when I grew the most. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I know I battle with whether I should intervene or let my daughter learn from having to push through a difficult issue. I so identify with this post at the moment. Thank you for sharing your heart as a parent.

    1. It’s definitely a balance between intervention and letting them learn to persevere as a parent. While we love to save them from struggles, sometimes we also keep them from learning key lessons. Thanks for reading!

  8. Ahh waiting out the storm. That describes my last two years. I totally agree that God leaves us in places to teach us lessons that we would NEVER choose to experience. He is faithful and will lead us through the storm. Great post! #JoyHopeLive

    1. I know your struggle! Waiting is sometimes the hardest thing God asks us to do! 5 years I waited for God to give me a glimpse of the marvelous things He was working behind the scenes. Hang in there, Kim. Just because it looks like nothing is happening in your situation, doesn’t mean He’s not at work bringing about amazing things! Thanks for reading!

  9. Great lesson learned from your son. I am doing a ladies breakfast in a couple week and my topic is on.”resilience”. I would say you have a resilience son, praise the Lord. Good post.

  10. Hi Karen!
    Visiting today from Coffee for You. This is a great application of a powerful truth for our real world lives! I like the clean, uncluttered lines of your site very much!
    Blessings to you from OH,

  11. Thank you for sharing such a profound post.

    I was so struck by your statement, “God knows that sometimes the best thing for us is to endure a cold, wet sleepless night without a sleeping bag. Those times are unpleasant, but the truth is that we learned much more by being forced to persevere through a difficult situation than we ever do when we are safe and snug in a warm blanket.”

    The Lord certainly redeems ALL our circumstances for His Glory and our good because He has loved us with an everlasting love.

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