Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Like a caged rat

I am the owner of a rat. Actually, the rat started out as a pet for my son. I bought it for him thinking it would be a great pet for a growing boy...now the rat is mine. Why? Because my son quickly tired of the rat once it nipped his finger and I am the type of person who when I take on a responsibility of a pet, I do not take it lightly. So I have a rat.

I'm guessing that few of those who read this blog have actually ever owned a rat; I may have a few hamster lovers out there, but I doubt any really aspire to have a rat in their home. I could go on and on about how they are actually quite smart and can make excellent pets, but that's not the focus of this blog. Nope, right now I am thinking about the rat's annoying habit of running around in circles going nowhere. I can't blame him really - he is in a cage after all. It's sort of like the hamster on the wheel. He's just getting his exercise - going around and around in circles....sort of like my mind.

Yep, it's been a sleepless night. I read somewhere that sleeplessness is a result of stress, but for whatever the reason, I tried to go to sleep only to have my mind begin to whirl. I tried praying, but even then the words just wouldn't come. I lay in the bed wishing my body would relax and just drift off to sleep, but my entire being was so tense it felt like I could spring into motion without a moment of hesitation. Milk didn't help and neither did counting sheep.

I guess I finally fell asleep at some point, but at 4 a.m. my mind sprang into motion again and now I am sitting here at the computer wishing I were asleep. This could be a very long day.

I hate it when my mind starts going round and round in circles. I want to rest, but it's as if I am not in control. I want to turn whatever it is over to the Lord, but it's as if instead of my controlling my thoughts, my thoughts are controlling me! My mind feels like that poor little caged rat needing to get out and be free.

Since I know there is really nothing new under the sun and that God's Word has an answer to anything I am dealing with, I did a little searching. Seems that folks in the Bible had some sleepless nights themselves!

Psalm 94:19 & 22 - "In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!", "the Lord has become my High Tower and Defense, and my God the Rock of my refuge." That multitude of anxious thoughts that can be like a whirlwind spinning round and round in my brain - God is my refuge.

One of my favorite psalms - Psalm 139:23-24 - "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Anxiety has a way of making you open to allowing God to search your heart and get rid of whatever is causing the turmoil.

Phil. 4:6 - " Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Okay, I have to admit - I forgot to do the thanksgiving part....that could be why the sleep never came.

I know that no matter what comes my way, my God is more than able to handle it. I am a dearly loved child - not some rat in a cage. So I will allow Jesus to speak to my anxious thoughts the same way He spoke to the storm - "Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39

They are predicting a major storm in my area today, but I know that though the winds around me may rage, inside I can have peace. Whatever storms life may decide to try and throw my way - I can have peace.
Now it's time to go and spend some time in thanksgiving and praise - because I know the joy of the Lord is my strength and after less than 4 hours sleep, I have a feeling today I'm going to need it!


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