This quote by Victor Hugo is my all-time favorite. There is something about it that instantly makes me feel like I've taken a deep breath and everything in my body relaxes a little. It reminds me to hand over my burdens and teaches me to trust. That's a whole lot of result from four lines of text, isn't it?
Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake. ~Victor Hugo
This quote is on my wall of doodles, and I only have to turn my head a little to the left to see it while I'm on the computer. I find myself looking to my left often to read what has become my mantra of sorts.
It's a bit ironic because sleep is not when I am most peaceful. Most people love crawling into bed at night and disappearing into a world where no one is telling them about their deadlines or reminding them of the incomplete to-do lists that inevitably await. You may slip into bed and fall asleep when your head hits the pillow, or take a few moments at the end of your day to enjoy the blissful silence of the night. Maybe you escape into the pages of a good book or whisper about your day to the love of your life laying next to you.
Or maybe you just collapse from exhaustion and pray the sound of the alarm clock holds off until you are fully rested and ready to face a new day.
Either way, many find nighttime to be a welcome reprieve.
For me, as much as I try to change my mindset about it, it's mired in dread. Pain plays many tricks on the body but the worst for me is that it is not conducive to rest or sleep. All of the remedies of relaxation, turning off the television and creating an atmosphere of rest go out the window when pain is involved. No amount of rest in the mind can counteract the reality of aching joints and pressured bones when laying down. So my two worst times of the day are getting into bed at night and having to get myself out of it in the morning. With sleep medications and muscle relaxers I find moments of sleep in the night. And I appreciate every little moment I get.
The part I appreciate the most is the knowledge that through all of it, God is awake.
I used to feel a little selfish or that it was egotistical to think that God would sit there and watch my resting as well as my waking. I mean, come on, the guy has to have better things to do. But that was back when I wasn't giving Him nearly enough credit. In my human mind it seems impossible that He would really know every hair on my head and care about every breath I take when there are major needs in the world. But then I had two realizations.
1. He can take care of more than one thing at a time.
2. He thinks I'm worth it.
There will be great sorrows in my life... and He has granted me courage to face them. And thankfully I have found patience for the smaller hurdles. But the only reason I can hold onto that courage and patience is because I believe with every fiber of my being that God is awake. He's looking at the road map of my life and waiting each moment to see which way I'm choosing to turn so He can provide me with the guidance I'll need on my journey.
And before you go thinking I really am too egotistical, you should know that I think He does the same for you.