Sometimes, it happens. You find yourself waking up in the middle of the night for no reason. Your stomach was not upset and you weren’t startled out of a nightmare. Yet, your eyes spring open as if the sunlight has shown through the window and your mind begins to race as if the day has started. I stared down at the clock on my phone. It was three in the morning.
As I said, it happens. This wasn’t the first time I had awoken in the middle of the night for no reason. Moments like these always lead me to think one thing: seek God and make sure He’s not keeping you awake in order to tell you something important. You could be needing to hear from Him.
I rolled back onto my back and stared at the ceiling. My eyelids were heavy, but my mind was active. I said aloud, “Here I am, Lord,” as little Samuel did in the Bible. There was no response. I waited as the minutes passed by and said it again, “Here I am, Lord.”
Secretly, I was terrified that God would actually respond to my openness and change the trajectory of my life once more. He must’ve known that fear, because He did not speak. My boldness to still call for Him while simultaneously scared of Him did not entice Him.
I’ve never heard anything audible from God before, so I was hoping that it was my time. You read about the burning bush, the random meetings, the wrestling match, and so many other encounters with God that you hope you can be one of those kingdom names. I was finding out that I was still not that guy.
God and I usually communicated through dreams. He’d show me something wild about Him and I’d wake in awe, or He’d forewarn me about the state of people around me and I’d prepare to see the changes. That day, He was quiet, which angered me a bit while simultaneously relieving me.
I rolled back over to go back to sleep, figuring He’d tell me some other way later. Patience was not on my mind at four in the morning. I closed my eyes, slowed my breathing, and quieted my mind. Startled, my thoughts took me back through my day at work. I lifted my head and began to wonder.
I had just worked at a desk that I didn’t work often, and that desk involved collecting checks and money. I remembered counting my money, but I didn’t remember reviewing the checks. I began to question, “Did I leave all those checks in my drawer?” This was hundreds of dollars’ worth of checks – an amount I could get fired for had they gone missing. However, my supervisor checked my drop, so there was no way we both missed that I hadn’t placed my checks with my drop. Thus, I laid my head back down and tried to return to sleep.
Five minutes later, I was sighing in frustration. I couldn’t get to sleep no matter how hard I tried. “What do You want from me!?” I thought to myself. Somehow, I had attributed my ability to go to sleep to the will of God. If He wanted me to sleep, I’d sleep. If He wanted me awake, I’d be awake. I was awake, but why?
I began to think again. Maybe this was about the checks at work. Nothing else had come to mind. It didn’t make sense. Why would I, and my supervisor, not notice at least two-hundred dollars’ worth of checks missing?
I tried to stop thinking about it. I tried to tell myself that they’d let me know in the morning, since my drop was behind a locked door no one but associates from the bank could open. I tried to tell myself I was just overthinking it, but I couldn’t shake it. I kept feeling like I needed to call the job and check to see.
I reached for my phone. When I called, I made sure to ask for the only two people I felt I could trust. I didn’t want this to be a moment when I found out a snake masked itself as a coworker. The likelihood of that happening was small, but it wasn’t small enough for me to not protect myself. You never know when someone hates you or has a secret vendetta against you.
Luckily, one of the people I trusted was available. When they answered. I was still confident that my checks were already with my drop, but I asked anyway.
“Hey. I need you to do me a favor. Can you check (the desk I was working at) and see if there are checks in there?”
“Oh, yeah. I’ll check.”
I sighed with a relief. Soon, I’d hear that I did my job right and be able to go to sleep. This worry would be defeated, and I’d only lose about an hour of sleep. I waited as the “on hold” ringtone played in my ear. The music stopped.
“Hey… uh, yeah, you left your checks in there.”
My heart sank. Terror rose up within me. I blurted out, “Shoot.” I chuckled a bit and shook my head. “Can you take those checks, put them in an envelope, and put a note in there that those checks belong with my drop?”
“Oh, yeah! I can do that for you no problem.”
I scrambled to cover my tracks. I asked that an email be sent to the main bank associate. I asked for the bank associate’s email so that I could email her myself. I wrote a long, detailed apology as I explained myself to the bank associate. I also thanked my trustworthy coworker for helping me in this matter.
Suddenly, my mistake became a testimony. I explained my inability to get to sleep and how I’d always try to talk to God before I’d return to sleep.
“Yeah, He saved you on this one!” she admitted.
I waited for everything to be corrected before I thanked her one last time and hung up the phone. Immediately, I rose up from my bed, knelt next to my bed, and thanked God profusely in prayer. I gave my praises to Him and thanked Him for a sound mind and the inability to go to sleep. He did not need to say anything. He only had to ask me one question, “Did you drop your checks with your money?”
I stayed kneeled, thanking God for His protection. I was one crucial mistake from losing my only source of income. He covered me. I rose up from my knees and laid back down in my bed. Within five minutes, I was asleep again.
That morning, I woke up and saw that my email was received and the situation was handled correctly. I was even thanked for detailing everything so that no confusion was had. All I could do was thank God. A simple hour without sleep saved me from unemployment and a firing. Sometimes, it’s the moments you least expect. Sometimes, it only takes a simple reflective thought to allow you to see that God cares about you, covers you, and wishes to keep you protected from harm, even harm that is brought on by yourself and your mistakes.