After 30 minutes of failed attempts to soothe his soul, I finally turned to prayer. "Father, help me. Show me how to comfort my little grandson."
Moments later a sentence popped into my head. I scooped Rivers into my arms and said, "I'm thinking of fluffy white clouds shaped like elephants." Immediately, he calmed down, so I forged ahead. "I'm thinking of a fuzzy puppy licking my face. I'm thinking of --"
Rivers jumped in. "An airplane!" He sat up, fully awake now and engaged with the game. "It's dark out there," he said, gaze fixed on the window.
"Yes, but look at the beautiful moon, one of God's gifts at night," I countered.
Satisfied, he continued with the game. "I'm thinking of a frog," he said, crooked grin in place.
I thought surely a couple rounds of this would gently ease us both back to sleep, but not so. The game went on for close to an hour. The last I remember, I was drifting off to the imaginary sun warming my face and the ocean waves lapping the seashore.
When my eyes popped open, Rivers was nestled against my side with his arm draped over me, and light shone through the window. At last, he stirred and rubbed his eyes. Yawning, he sat up. "It was dark last night, Grandma."
"Yes, it was, but God gave us treasures in the dark when we thought of all those fun things . . . fluffy clouds, fuzzy puppies, airplanes, frogs, and so much more!"
What started as a stressful night for both of us turned into a special time as we refocused our thoughts on good and lovely things, just like Philippians 4:8 teaches.
What a reminder to me that in the dark days, God offers His treasures if I will look for them.
As James 1:17 says, Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow (NASB).