A few years ago, my husband and I purchased a second, smaller home close to our older son’s residence in a neighboring state. Since then, we have been traveling back and forth between our two homes, enjoying family and friends at both locations. Only once, thus far, has one of our trips to our second home not gone as planned. Though the drive itself went well, the problem that led to the event of this writing occurred just as we arrived at the house.
After parking in the driveway, my husband opened the car door and stepped out of our vehicle. As he did, an excruciating pain shot down his leg. It had been caused by what we would soon learn was sciatica. Without going into further details concerning the doctor visit and the instructions that my husband received from him, suffice it to say that we needed to get “home.” The problem, however, was that he couldn’t drive, and neither could I, due to a medical condition of my own. By Sunday, the two of us were both struggling, leading us to have a desire to ask someone to come and pray for us, even though we were both already praying ourselves.
We have any number of Christian friends and relatives who would have been glad to have prayed for us that day, had we asked them to do so, and others who knew about the difficulties that we were having and were already praying about our situation. But that day, for whatever reason, only one person came to mind for me to call. It was a woman who lives in the area, but whom I had only met briefly on an earlier visit. At that time, she had given me her phone number and told me that I was welcome to call her if I ever wanted her to come by and pray with me.
Well, that day I did. So my husband and I sat down together on the edge of the sofa, dialed the number that she had given to me, and set our cell phone on speaker. When the woman answered, we quickly explained to her why we were calling and asked her if we could take her up on her earlier offer. Regretfully she said that she wasn’t able to come by that day, but asked instead if we would mind if she prayed for us over the phone right then.
Immediately we told her to please go ahead, and so she began to pray for my husband’s need first. Then there was a moment of hesitation before we then heard her say, “And if I’m hearing God right, He is going to give you five and a half to six hours of sleep each night.” My husband and I looked at each other with complete surprise and immediately told her that the sleep was for me and not for my husband. He has no trouble at all in falling asleep and sleeping until morning. I, on the other hand, had been having trouble getting more than three hours of sleep each night. For weeks I had been telling my husband that I would feel so much better if I could just get five and a half to six hours of sleep per night.
That night, after receiving the prayer, my sleep did indeed begin to increase, and in a short period of time I was sleeping the five and a half to six hours each night that God had given to me. But here’s the kicker. Though I was extremely grateful for the sleep that I was then getting, and I was feeling some better because of the sleep, I soon realized that five and a half to six hours still wasn’t enough. Soon I was again telling my husband that I really did need more like seven or eight hours of sleep a night.
It was then that I saw in my mind an Olympic skier who was standing at the top of a ski jump ramp, waiting to be given the signal to go. At that very moment, I received this message: “No one ever trains for the Olympics and then stands at the starting gate praying, “Oh, God, if I could just get the silver!” I realized then that that’s what I’d done by walking around saying, “If I could just get five and a half to six hours of sleep each night…” Metaphorically, I’d wanted the silver, and that’s just what I got. But before the skier ever took off, I was left with this message: Go for the gold; don’t settle for silver! There is nothing wrong with winning a silver medal unless you received it by settling for less than the best that God has planned for you. If I had not settled for five and a half to six hours of sleep a night, I dare say that I would have long been getting all of the sleep that God made me to need to receive from Him. But know this: I still can. That’s God’s grace.