When my youngest was a toddler, each night I would put her to sleep in her own bed. Sometimes this was an easy job and my tired little one would be asleep in minutes; sometimes it was a hardcore showdown of her stubbornness against mine. But always, eventually, she would end up peacefully asleep. (Mom won!)
This sweet sleep would last long enough for me to get to bed and fall into my own sweet slumber. Then, without fail, my little girl would wake up and decide it was time to move to mom and dad’s bed.
She would amble out of her bed, scoop up all the paraphernalia she deemed important and come to our bed. She would wake one of us up with pats and whines, “I ‘leep in your bed.” We always said yes and then assisted her in the process of “setting up.” She would pass us all her stuff—sippy cup, tiny pillow, blanket, doll, stuffed animal, etc. As soon as she established herself as the chief occupier of the bed, she would fall back asleep, usually with her face pushed up to one of ours. This was our story every night for years.
This sweet little ritual was like a daily illustration of God’s love to me. I would see myself as a child, helpless and clueless, trying to carry all the things I thought were so important, into God’s arms. And God would feel nothing but tenderness toward me and want only to comfort and hold me. He was never annoyed with me, just like we never felt anything but love towards our nightly disruptor.
I still cherish the sweetness of those nights snuggling my daughter and the way God whispered His love to me. He showed me that, just like my little girl had no qualms about barging into our space and making her needs known, with zero fear of rejection, I could do the same with Him.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!—Psalm 139:17–18 NLT
1. See Luke 8.