I saw a news report recently that said people who get fewer than 5.5 hours of sleep a night have higher health risks than the average population. I told my husband that any new mom could have told the researchers that and saved the public tens of thousands of dollars on the study. Not only do sleep deprived people have more risk for diabetes, heart disease, depression, and a host of other health conditions, they become a risk to anyone who irritates them. Fair warning, people.
My littles aren’t “new” anymore, but they still don’t sleep as much as I’d like. Even if they did, I’d have to spend some of those precious quiet moments taking care of things that get pushed to the side when they’re awake. Praying, reading, writing, editing, cleaning, planning. Thinking. With so much going on, it’s hard for me to fully appreciate the joys God gives me. Good for me that God’s promises don’t have an expiration date.
Today’s confession gives me peace, and it comes from an unlikely place. Most of us don’t look to Job in the Old Testament when we want promises of joy. But it’s there in a few ways. Job 8:21 is a response where Bildad the Shuhite tells Job, “He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”
Er, perhaps not the best response to a man who has just heard of the loss of all his earthly possessions and the deaths of his children. I’m sure Bildad meant well, but he might as well have opened his mouth and put his foot in it. Deeply. Still, if you read the story through to the end, you’ll see that God did restore Job in full. In fact, he gave his servant even more blessing in the second half of his life than in the first.
He will fill me with shouts of joy.
Shouts of joy. Not shouts of irritation or impatience. Sometimes, I’m as quick to let loose with one as with the other. As I fight to keep my eyes open and my tone gentle in these sleep-deprived days, I confess this truth. He will fill me with shouts of joy. I’m not the only one to benefit from this promise. My whole family will recognize the change and the glory will go to God.
Are you shouting with joy or impatience these days?