I always have these dreams when I feel as if my life is out of control. Too much is happening. I have too many responsibilities. Or I'm facing too many family crises. I might be an adult, but I feel like a lost kid playing in traffic who can't make it to the other side of a busy, dangerous street.
I personally feel this way right now. I lost a forty year old son to brain cancer two years ago and I'm still grieving. My ninety-nine year old mother is in a nursing home with advanced dementia; every time I see her, I come home exhausted with grief and regret that I can't care for her at home. My one sister has various disabilities and needs partial knee replacement surgery. One of my daughters needs foot surgery. My other daughter has been diagnosed with breast cancer and needs a mastectomy.
Often, nights are the times when Life seems most out of control. When I can't sleep because the future seems dark with menace, I think of the psalms and they help me pray. "Answer when I call, my saving God. In my troubles, You cleared a way; show me favor; hear my prayer! Know that the Lord works wonders for the faithful; the Lord hears when I call out." (Psalm 4).
I tell God "I trust You - You will make a way." I know the magnificent ways that God, the Lord of History, has acted in Scripture to save His people. But God is also the Lord of MY history. And in the silence of the night, I think of the times He has already cleared a way through our troubles for my family, friends, and me.
I remember my past with gratitude. I remember my past with tears. If God is truly faithful and loving, as He has shown in the past in my life, He will continue to take care of me and all whom I love. If He is faithful and loving in this world, He is faithful and loving in the next. He stilll cares for all I love in heaven. Quietly once again I place everyone, living here or in the next world into His hands. In life and in death, we are the Lord's.
Psalm four ends "In peace I shall both lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me secure."
"You alone make me secure," I pray over and over. Since I'm Catholic, I also often hold my rosary in my hands, my fingers smoothing the figure of Jesus on the cross, remembering His anguished prayer in Gethsemane at night, until, praying, I finally fall asleep.
You alone, Lord, Who loves us more than any Other, You alone can hold us securely in Your embrace in full daylight and in the dark, lonely hours of night.