Everything seems worse in the middle of the night. During the day we are busy with our routines and responsibilities and the sometimes overwhelming details of our lives get drowned out by our adrenaline charged activities. The problems are there but they seem manageable or we can push them to the back of our minds. But in the middle of the night it is quiet and there is nothing to distract us from seeing the magnitude of the situations we are facing; we are worn out and don't have any energy left for solving problems. Everything is out of proportion and discouragement looms over us like a dark cloud. Lady Antebellum's song "I Need You Now" is referring to a romantic relationship, but that's not what I hear - when the stresses of life keep me awake and threaten to overwhelm me with despair only turning to God can give me comfort and perspective. When we read or remember the strong and timeless promises in the Bible we can see the bigger picture and trust that God has an ultimate plan for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Trust, that's really the key, and it's not easy!
It's human nature to want to control and plan every detail of our lives, it seems like the only responsible way to live. If we work hard enough this works pretty well most of the time, but then we somehow end up in a situation that is completely out of our control. Sometimes there is just no good solution to a problem, no obvious direction to go in, and every decision seems like the wrong one. We can expend a lot of energy struggling to regain control or we can take a step back, "let go and let God". We can't always see beyond the next step so we just have to pray, trust God's guidance, and step into the unknown. This reminds me of the Four Spiritual Laws that I learned as a child - we were supposed to learn them so we could easily witness to non-Christians and would always know the right thing to say. At one point I knew them all (though I don't ever remember using them to witness in any way) but now I only remember the first one: God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. That is a pretty powerful statement to base your life on! He has a plan - it's not all up to us! So those overwhelming problems that we just can't figure out how to solve - hand them over to God and wait for guidance because his plans are so much better than we can ever imagine. It will take patience and it will take trust, but in the end it is the better way and often the only way. And that despair that threatens to overwhelm us? Gone!