I fall into bed every night utterly exhausted, but still listening for the whimpers of bad dreams or the cries of a sick tummy from too much homemade chocolate sauce on the ice cream, and get up and run whenever necessary. Sleeping late is not an option, but who would want to anyway? Every day is another chance to build those memories and instill those values with a Bible story every night, a memory verse picture card, a Bible game, or craft. And then there is this.
Every morning I lie there still in the mists of sleep when suddenly I am pelted by a soft, well-worn stuffed tiger—Lucky, if you remember—then a fairly new crocheted and stuffed Minion (ask your grandkids), and finally a blanket (Leo, by name) slowly unfurling as it flies through the air like the flying scroll in Zechariah's vision. Our bed is high off the floor, and a toddler cannot possibly climb in without both hands to pull up by. So after the pelting ends, the bed begins to shake and a little blond head begins to rise over the sides of the mattress, little hands persistently pulling on the sheet, little grunts of exertion sounding with every pull. I reach down and pull on a pajama bottom waistband, giving him just the impetus he needs to climb on to the top, then burrow under the covers next to me. I snuggle against the warm little body, the scents of bubble bath, baby shampoo, and lotion wafting up around us in the body heat. When his head hits the pillow he rolls away from me only to scoot quickly backwards so I can spoon him and wrap him with both arms. We are both back asleep in less than a minute.
At least until the next set of footsteps comes in, heavier and faster, a boy whose head is already higher than the edge of the bed, who can fairly easily scale the billowy mattress and bedclothes and who, already knowing from longer experience that he is more than welcome, clambers right on in all the way over me, and snuggles down between me and his Granddad. The game of "Wake up Granddad" ensues, giggling at the pretend growls and grumbles, growing louder with each attempt, until finally we are all good and awake and ready to begin the long day of play again. Do you think I begrudge the sleep? You know better than that.
Yet knowing all of that, we sometimes act like God would begrudge the attention we ask of him, apologizing for bothering him "when there are more important things" for him to do. Just like there is nothing more important than my children or grandchildren's welfare, there is nothing more important to God than ours. Understand: that does not mean he will always say yes to his children any more than I always say yes to mine. That does not mean that there may not be things we will never understand in this world, nor maybe even in the next. But you are important to God. He revels in the relationship you two have. How do I know? Look what he sacrificed to have it.
And don't you believe in his infinite power? I may have to leave things undone in order to spend time with Silas and Judah. God never has to leave things undone. He can do it all, including the piddly little things we sometimes beg for while still keeping the earth spinning on its axis and the sun rising again and again.
If you haven't climbed into the warm bed of love and compassion that God feels toward you, don't blame God. He wants you there. He will help pull you into the safety and comfort of his arms. He won't begrudge a minute of it—unless you do.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. (Ps 40:1-3)