3 O’clock in the Morning
Last evening was so very typical in the life of a caregiver. I had prepared for us a casual supper of ground beef smothered in onion gravy with a side of mashed potatoes. We have always enjoyed what we call ‘comfort food’. I had cleaned up the kitchen, fed the dog, and let her outside to tend to her nightly business. I helped Fay prepare for the evening and gave her the nightly Tylenol PM. For her, it is the thing most near a miracle drug. It seems to settle a person with dementia. Soon she was relaxed and comfortably asleep in her recliner.
Then it was finally my turn to address my own comforts. I cleaned up, put on my sweats and house shoes and settled into my recliner for a little R&R. There was no special programming on TV, so I resorted to the History Channel, which seems to be my default setting on such evenings. Most of their programming has neither beginning nor ending, so one can casually tune in or out at any time without missing any of the story. Last evening I joined the American Pickers as they visited various hoarders in backwoods locations with the intent of purchasing some of their junk. I suppose what we consider junk is to them their weird little treasures. Anyway, to me it is interesting programming.
Soon, my little toy poodle abandoned her toys, leaving them in the middle of the floor and jumped up into the recliner with me. She had no intention of watching TV with me—for her it was ‘nighty-night’ time. She then methodically wiggled her little butt down between me and the arm of my chair as if to say, ‘scoot over, Buddy! There’s room for both of us here!” Of course, I happily obliged. So there the three of us were all comfortably lounging; tummies full, all scrubbed and brushed and ready for the evening. My little pet soon licked my hand as if kissing me ‘good night’ and dropped off to sleep. All was well in the world.
As you might have guessed, I too, soon dozed off leaving the American Pickers to go about their travels without me. All in the room were soundly asleep except the TV. That is until about 3 o’clock when I was rudely aroused from my slumber. It was like the enemy shaking me saying, “Wake up! Wake up! I have some things for you to worry about!” He delights in causing us to toss and turn. He knows our minds are weakest and most vulnerable during the wee hours of the morning. He knows that at that time of the night it’s so easy for him to fill us with all manner of negative thoughts. If you have ever been there, you know that on such nights, it seems like forever before the dawning of a new day arrives.
But then my attention is drawn to my little poodle. Unlike me, she is totally at peace—warm as toast and as limp as a dishrag—not a care in the world. As long as she is cuddled up right next to her master, she obviously feels safe from all harm. She’s having no trouble sleeping. Suddenly I am gripped with a degree of shame. Why am I so restless when my Master is right by my side? Why am I not enjoying the same peace that my pet is enjoying? Why am I filled with worry and doubts? It must be insulting to our God for us to doubt His ability to come through for us—no matter what circumstance we encounter. We should remember that He is always by our side—that He promises to never leave nor forsake us.
Perhaps we should take a lesson from our cherished pets…