Bruce and I finally moved into our almost new house outside of Cheyenne, WY. It’s got acreage abutting Interstate 25. Some people wouldn’t like that, but because of the acreage, the house is quite a distance from I-25. The sound of traffic is slight.
I love to watch the trucks traveling north and south. Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I stand by my window and wait for a truck to pass. I think about the driver. Does he or she feel lonely? Does he think deep thoughts while he drives those long, hypnotic stretches between Cheyenne and Casper?
When I was a little girl, living in the Central Valley town of Rio Vista, California, I used to lie awake for a long time listening to the trucks on the highway. They seemed lonely, and I was lonely, too. Everyone else was asleep and here I was again, staring at the ceiling, listening, thinking, wondering.
Loneliness is part of not being able to sleep. But not being able to sleep makes one become a thinker…I think.
During those early years when I was younger than nine, not being able to sleep, I thought a lot about those foggy, creepy hills behind our elementary school and if monsters lurked there at night, what happened to my dead cat after it died, if angels really do watch us and protect us, if my bedroom walls really could dissolve and swallow me into the fourth dimension (like an episode of The Twilight Zone dramatized).
I thought a lot about God, too. We went to church occasionally, and what I learned in Sunday school made me curious about Jesus. During the day I didn’t have time for pondering these questions. But at night I could think and ponder as long as my eyes stayed open.
There is much value in those lonely nocturnal hours. The Psalmist, King David, spoke much of his own lonely hours, of his meditations, his prayers, his songs in the night.
“I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on You through the night.” Psalm 63:6
I believe God uses those times to call to us insomniacs. To invite us to ponder about Him, to call up things we’ve already heard about Him. To use our good and bad memories to make us search for meaning in them.
Have you struggled with insomnia? As hard as that is, there might be a blessing from God if you’ll seek Him during those still nights.
In the stillness, there is the time to recount all that God has done in your life, to thank Him.: “How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in Him should ponder them.” Psalm 111:2