Hello all! I am retired from the blue chair tonight and was truthfully just about to drift off to sleep when I decided to read a wonderful devotional. I wanted to hurry a post off to you because it blessed me in such a way, and tonight, late it is fitting because it is about the dark.
I have never been a fan of the dark. Nope. When I was little I shared a room with my two older sisters (that is a story all in itself for another time!!) and never was "alone." So the "scared of the dark" thing really didn't bother me, because I had my sisters there, and a window above my bed where light came in, and spiders too, but again I digress.
As I got older I detested the dark. I think the older I get the more of a "frady-cat" I become! Then after one of my kiddos was born I began having trouble sleeping at night. Night became such an enemy to me. It brought fears, thoughts, worries and the like. Whenever I am going through a really difficult time, sure enough my problem sleeping re-appears. I have had many a night where I lay awake, praying for literally the sun to rise, and the minute it did and I saw the sunlight I would fall into the deepest sleep you have ever beheld. There is something about the darkness that just held me in fear and the break of daylight allowed me to finally sleep in peace.
The past three weeks has again brought my dread of nights back to me. It began in the hospital when I went on a 4 day stretch of probably one hour of sleep. Each time I would close my eyes I was laying on the floor again bleeding in fear. Everything seems so much worse at night, financial stresses, a child's sickness, everything. I have finally gotten into a good sleeping pattern now and for that I am indeed thankful. While I was missing sleep I was praying for several of you all by name to pass the time. :)
One friend said to me one day, "You could look for God to show you all the good that happens in the night.." I cringed at first. Hmmmm......let's see, robberies, wild animals come out......to name a few. But she had a good idea and tonight the Lord brought several things to my attention and I wanted to share them for any of you all out there who are up late tonight with one of "those nights." I send you a hug and I completely understand!
Here's what my devotional says:
"Many of God's secrets have been revealed to His servants under the cover of darkness. Young Samuel receives his first messages from God while Eli and the Israelites sleep. Abraham walks out under the starry canopy of heaven and receives the promise of a posterity as the stars. In horrible darkness he receives the remainder of his message. Jacob wrestles in the dark and becomes a Prince. The revelation of the ten commandments was given to His chosen people in a cloud and thick darkness. Daniel and Paul receive their visions in the night. Shepherds grasp the greatest message of all time while angels sing. What secret treasures have we discovered in out night of loneliness, sorrow or bereavement?"
I just love this reminder of how God has worked in the dark! It goes on to give this poem which I just treasure tonight.
"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in the light."
My words of consolation, my songs in the night;
When the shadows have vanished and the morn breaks again,
Go tell what I have told you to the children of men.
"What I tell you in darkness," when the wind whips the sea,
When the waves overwhelm you and you cry unto Me;
When My voice stills the tempest, My words calm your fear,
That tell to your brothers, their fainting hearts cheer.
"What I tell you in darkness," when I answer your call
Where you walk in rough places, and stumble and fall;
When My Word lights your pathway, a lamp to your feet,
To those who fall beside you, my message repeat.
"What I tell you in darkness," hold fast in your heart;
From the desert place of waiting, when I call you apart,
From the stillness and the shadow where you were so blest
Go forth and speak to others who know not My rest.
"What I tell you in darkness," in the long night of fear,
When I wake and watch beside you, and no other is near;
In the gloom of the Garden, where you echo my prayer--
That speak to those around you who agonize there.
~Annie Johnson Flint
Miss Flint suffered a great deal with painful debilitating arthritis. I can imagine that she herself had spent many a night awake, in discomfort, in worry and fear, and she still reminds us to turn and use our darkness to remind other brothers and sisters that God is still good, still able and still enough to be our light in our dark places.
"When I wake and watch beside you, and no other is near;" What a delight to my weary soul this is tonight coupled with Ps 121:3-4 "He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep."
And with that I wish you a pleasant sleep!