Pete Wilson rubs his finger on the bruise that causes us each to flinch: What we fear most.
Beginning with the fact that we’re not alone, What Keeps You Up at Night shows how fear is a common response of all people—including those greats in the Bible. Abraham, Joseph, Joshua, Daniel, all faced fear and overcame because they chose to trust God in spite of the fear.
Spending time with God is essential to push past the “dips” in our lives and to recalibrate our perspectives to be in alignment with God. We don’t need to play it safe; in fact, God often leads us down paths that feel unsafe so that we lean into the uncertainty and learn to trust Him. Part of that tension comes with surrendering our “container”—our life—to God, which often includes “surrendering” our dreams to His plan. (Another word for “trust.”)
I think it’s important as we read this book (and the Bible) to remember that a biblical dream—like to Joseph or Daniel, etc.—is not the same as a “dream” we have for our lives. Theirs are akin to Scripture. Ours may just be a strong desire—maybe or maybe not of God.
My favorite quotes:
Keep doing the next right thing, taking the steps you know take, without getting frustrated because you aren’t yet where you want to be. Act on the belief that God has a plan and that He is bringing it to completion your life. Commit to being ready for that completion to occur, even if you can’t see it coming. (77-78)
You are probably mistaking your dream for the ending of your stress. Go a step beyond that: When your stress is a thing of the past, what would you do then to see meaning and fulfillment? Chances are, that’s what God has put you on earth to accomplish. (94)
I think this is Pete’s best book so far. Intensely practical, and dealing with real-world issues, What Keeps You Up at Night will find you where you are, remind you that God sees the big picture and has your best interests in mind, and urge you to face your fear by trusting God.
When you do, you will eventually—in God’s timing—see that His purposes overshadowed and guided you to the fear, through the fear, and finally, beyond it.