I did not want to get out of bed this morning at 5:40.
I was awakened by a hungry baby an hour earlier and had desperately been trying to will myself to go back to sleep after I finished feeding him.
But no. Of course, I was met with resistance in my attempt to sleep — to rest. The baby’s belly was upset, he needed a few more snuggles, and it was my job to comfort him. After all, I am his mother.
As the minutes ticked by, I felt my blood pressure beginning to rise as I was realizing that in my desperation to go back to sleep, I really, really was not going to be able to.
I heard God telling me to get up.
Sitting on the edge of my bed, I pleaded with Him to make my baby go back to sleep so that I could roll over in my nice warm bed, scrunch the down comforter under my chin and tuck it in around me — cocoon-like. I begged Him.
And still, He asked me to get up. Get out of bed. He said He knew I was tired, but promised He would “refresh my soul.” (Ps. 23:3)
I told Him, in a tone fit for a grumpy 8 year old, “What good will a refreshed soul do when my body is too tired to function? You know I have an infant and a toddler to take care of, don’t you? They can’t do anything for themselves. They need me. They need me to be well rested.”
He said He would “refresh my soul.” And He had something to show me.
Within moments the baby fell asleep.
I decided I might take back my agreement to get up and just roll over, maybe God wasn’t really talking to me. But of course, the dog had inched his way up from the foot of the bed and was now occupying the space I should be sleeping in… Ugh.
With a huff and a puff and a roll of my eyes, I stepped my cinderblock feet onto the ground beside the bed and trudged myself down the stairs. Stomping just enough to make sure He was aware that I did not want to get up.
I reached the bottom of the stairs and gruffy said to Him, “Ok, I’m up. So what did you want to show me?”
He said, “Listen.”
I waited a moment. I didn’t hear anything other than my grumbling stomach and the annoyed thoughts running through my head — still churning over the fact that I could be sleeping, but I wasn’t.
Again He said to me, “I will refresh your soul.”
I tried to quiet my mind by simply listening and focusing on each breath I was taking, but that was going to be a monumental task this morning as it meant I had to somehow get my blood to stop boiling, too. Maybe I should make my oatmeal and coffee; an attempt to quiet my rumbling stomach — at least something could be a bit quieter, if not my mind.
As I sat down on the couch with my bowl of oatmeal, I glanced out the window. The sun was starting to come up and at that very moment I saw a familiar movement flitting around the silhouetted branches of a large tree outside.
But, what was it doing way up in that tree?
God often shows me hummingbirds when He wants to confirm His presence to me, but usually they’re poking their little beaks into a pretty flower nearby or hovering around a bush. Occasionally one will even fly right up to my face, close enough to hear the buzz of its tiny wings.
But, never have I seen one dancing, in the way the only hummingbirds do, high up in a tree.
I narrowed my weary eyes trying to focus and convince myself that no, it must be some sort of tiny sparrow or finch. Something small and light. No way is that a hummingbird. It just couldn’t be. It seemed out of place. This wasn’t how God usually showed them to me.
But as the little bird flew around, occasionally getting lost in the silhouette of the tree’s branches, I could see flickers of it’s hovering movements confirming that it had to be a hummingbird.
Nothing else moves like that. Nothing.
I found myself focused. Listening. Breathing.
And He said, “I am the same today as I was yesterday and will be tomorrow. You can rest — breathe, in the comfort of knowing that I am constant. Even when you have to focus your gaze to see me because you’re not quite sure what you’re seeing really is me. I am your comfort. I am here.”
He said He would “refresh my soul”.