For the first time in over a year, I got a solid eight glorious hours of sleep. I don’t have sleep issues, shift work, or an overactive bladder. I have a 14-month-old baby who likes to have a midnight… 2:00 am, 4:00 am, and 6:00 am snack. Ideally, parents sleep train in the first few months of Baby’s life by gently and mindfully helping their babies learn how to sleep through the night. I'm proficient at finding excuses to put this responsibility off just a bit longer. Then suddenly, we realize we have a one-year-old baby who sleeps and eats like a one-week-old infant. Sleep training is hard, no-fun work. So much so, there are people who make their entire careers about helping parents learn how to sleep train their cranky kids. Therefore, I put it off as long as possible. Dumb…I know.
James tells believers to
“…count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”
Does this come naturally to you? Me neither. I avoid trials and suffering because it is hard, no-fun work. But, James gives us insight into God’s unique perspective of trials. “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” Trials are not just bad luck or punishment; they are a gift. They have a purpose. They help us get better at one skill: patience. Why is patience so important? He tells us,
“…let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
Patience is apparently the key ingredient for perfection.
I’m not a newbie to sleep training. We did it with our first two children. Both times I was amazed at what just a couple of nights of patience and tough love produced. BOOM! We had a baby who could sleep through the night and were much happier during the day. Every. Single. Time. Sleep training, like all of life's trials, is worth the effort.
Life is full of opportunities to allow patience to have its perfect work. We have a guarantee that the hard, no-fun work is worth it! Perfection is waiting for us. Let’s not avoid the trial but embrace the gift.