We’ve had a rough couple of nights this week. My middle one, who is normally skipping everywhere she goes, spent Sunday curled up on the couch with a fever. If a four year old is still for more than 2 minutes, you wonder what’s wrong. When they’re lethargic for hours, you know they’re sick! As a result, she hasn’t slept well the last two nights.
And my boy, who I thought had cut every tooth possible, keeps surprising me. Kid has more teeth than a shark! And he’s one! Well, needless to say, he’s been out-of-sorts the last few nights, to the point of issuing the depths-of-his-belly-guttural scream that takes you from sound sleep to panic in .06 seconds when you hear it.
So yeah, not much sleep happening for me. We won’t go into how everyone else is sleeping, but suffice it to say that not everyone has a problem sleeping through, well, pretty much WWIII.
Last night, I was exhausted, and after dealing with kid #2 changing PJ’s (“These PJs are sweating me to death mom!”) followed by “I’m thirsty dad” right as you’re about to go to sleep, followed by snoring child #2 being serenaded by screaming child #3…well…I wasn’t exactly in the REM stage of sleep, you know?
As I lay there at 3 a.m., praying to God that my little man would tire himself out and go back to sleep, only to be faced with the cold reality that he wasn’t having it, an)d I was going to have to get him, I began to grumble. I know, I’m a horrible dad. But it’s true.
Then I held him, and rocked him. I kissed his little head, and I felt him bury his face in my chest. And I remembered when I prayed for the day that I would hold a child in my arms, and now three slept (or not) under my roof.
And then I thanked God that He is so far and away a greater Father than I could ever be. I thanked Him that He never slumbers or sleeps, and He’s never angry or frustrated when I cry out to Him, no matter the hour or the convenience. In fact, He tells us to cast all our cares upon Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
So I held my boy, and I prayed for him, and I prayed for me. I prayed that I’ll be a better father as my heavenly Father draws me nearer to Him. I prayed that I’ll die more and more to my self each day, and that I’ll become more and more alive to Christ. And I prayed that my kids will see Him in me, in some small way. That the love their dad has for them is pale by comparison to the love their heavenly Father has for them.