When Betsy was younger, before we had her asthma figured out, there were some long and terrible nights. She coughed. Miserably. I felt helpless. Sleep wouldn't come although we had given her each and every medication that the doctor had approved. There was water on the nightstand, available for sipping. A cushy, cozy bed. Extra pillows that propped her troubled head and eased the air flow to her lungs.
Still she coughed.
And so I turned to the last weapon in my arsenal. I'd snuggle up beside her and she'd rest against me. I held her close, stroked her hair. Sometimes I sang. I was simply there. And she rested. It startled me every time, that my mere maternal presence eased her breathing, relaxed her limbs, opened a clenched fist, left her small mouth slack in sleep. A sweet reprieve it was, for both of us.
Sometimes I am like my daughter. I have followed my prescription and everything is in its place. Bits and pieces of life have been comfortably settled, readied to deal with any situation that may arise. The water glass, the cool pillow ... we have done our best.
But my restlessness can be calmed by only one thing -- it is the presence of my Father that I need. I do not need any "thing" that He can grant me. I need only to rest in His arms, and that is my consolation. That is the sweet reprieve I need to wake up tomorrow and rise to another day.