Last night at precisely 3:17 AM (according to the green glow of the stove clock), I was up with 2 children – not long. Walking back to bed, I was drawn by an eerie flashing from the front window. It was a spectacular display: swift, continuous bolts of lightning in such rapid succession that there was only a fading of light rather than darkness in between each strike. The wild, jagged streaks were silent, beautiful, and powerful. They lasted several minutes before I crept back to bed.
I was reminded that in those quiet, weary moments in the dark of night, I am not alone. God is just as much with me then, as He is in bright daylight. He does not sleep or take time off. In his mercy, he even gives me “songs in the night.”
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life. ~ Psalm 42:6
God has been with His people throughout all their difficult nights. I think of Daniel, spending the night with lions and Joseph in a cold, dank prison cell. I think of David fasting for his baby, overcome with guilt and of Jesus praying and sweating drops of blood in the Garden. I think of Paul and Silas, bravely, triumphantly singing songs with their “captive” audience.
But God is not just with us in physical nighttime – He is with us in our spiritual nighttime, those seasons of our lives when all seems black, hopeless and heavy.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you. ~ Psalm 139:11-12
The night is scary – with good reason! In darkness we cannot see. In darkness, we stumble and fall. Darkness is where evil things lurk, where dark thoughts fester and grow, where anxiety and depression, hopelessness and despair live.
We must each walk through our own nights, but we do not have to walk alone. We have the light – His light – and if we walk with Him, we can trust that we will never be alone. He is greater than our fears, than the darkness, than all the evil that Satan has thrown. God’s light is brighter and He has overcome.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~ John 1:1,4-5
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33