Sometimes a girl just cannot get a peaceful night’s sleep! The nights with greatest promise are often interrupted by the subtle beginning of a “snore fest.” My husband, Chris, begins like a gentle house cat but often ends up like a lion’s thundering roar! Tossing right and left while pressing the pillow over my head cannot muffle his deep sleep symphony. The longer I listen the more frustrated I get. I have been known to kick him (gently of course) in hopes of ushering in some ever-elusive silence; however, it usually leads to another performance. Since putting my pillow over his face is still illegal in every state and territory, I’m left praying for peace, endurance, love, patience, and self-control.
Can you relate? Are there things about your spouse that drive you a little crazy? Habits that resonate like fingers on a chalkboard? Everyone does! But sometimes life can bring us to a place of fresh perspective. With one major life event, my disdain was transformed to appreciation.
A few years ago, I found myself sitting next to his bed in the ICU. I never imagined my 42-year-old husband would have open heart surgery–but there we were. Seeing him labor for each breath as he worked off of the ventilator, I prayed to hear him snore beside me in bed once again. (No kidding… I really prayed this.)
Everything had changed, and nothing had changed…except my perspective.
During those laboring moments of silently waiting for updates from the doctors, I pondered things what I had taken for granted concerning Chris. Things like him making my breakfast each morning, arriving home safely each night for dinner, flirting with me in the kitchen as I cook, making me laugh with his witty charm, listening to me rant about my day, and yes, his snoring, too. All of that was now a heartbeat from being stripped away from my life. The reality that “we are not promised tomorrow” sinks in like never before.
What might you be taking for granted?
- Assuming that you have tomorrow to make things right with your friend?
- Making that much-needed phone call to a loved one?
- Sharing the gospel with someone God places in your path?
Scripture offers great wisdom concerning our tomorrows:
Don’t brag about tomorrow,
since you don’t know what the day will bring. Proverbs 27:1 NLT
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James 4:14
It is a difficult but necessary realization that tomorrow is not a promise for us. When we become comfortable in the assumption that there will always be a tomorrow, we often miss the value of our moments with family, friends, or loved ones.
In the ICU that day, once the ventilator was removed and we could speak, he soon fell asleep. Sitting next to Chris with a sense of relief, I heard it; A subtle snore! It was music to my ears; A melody I vowed to never take for granted or become aggravated with again. It reminded me he was alive. It meant he was breathing. (Okay, breathing loudly). It simply testified to another day of life together with him. Tears of gratitude streamed down my face.
What aggravation do you need to re-evaluate? Maybe it should become something for which you are thankful.
- Clothes being left on the floor?
- Lunch boxes needing to be prepared?
- Last minute school projects?
- Empty milk cartons left in the fridge?
Perspective. Often times it comes down to that. I’d love to say that I sleep peacefully every night and snoring is a faint memory, but I still find myself with a pillow over my own head. Now though, I consider that this mild interruption is a reminder of life and all the good that it brings.