Thursday, February 10, 2011

God Gives Songs in the Night

Yesterday, in our Women’s Bible Study,  I taught about the the story of Paul and Silas in prison in Acts chapter 16.  Here, unjustly beaten, bruised and bleeding, Paul and Silas CHOOSE not to whine, complain, blame and seek revenge, but to sing and to pray.
I’m convicted and refreshed by this example.
Charles Spurgeon, a well-known saint of the church and preacher from the mid-1800’s said, “Anyone can sing in the day.  It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but the skilful stager is he who can sing where there is not a ray of light to ready by. Songs in the night come only from God; they are not in the power of men.”
Songs in the night.  When we are surrounded by darkness and have a very real sense of being imprisoned by an injustice or in a time of great suffering, it can be quite difficult to pray. Perhaps, it is even more difficult to sing. But God gives songs in the night.
I know that it is true.  Maybe you do, too.  I am not sure where the songs come from, but they spring forth  and they blossom and bloom.  They are sweet songs, often simple songs, filled with faith and a trust in the Lord who holds all things together. They come during a time when we do not know what to say.  They are words of truth and love that are pushed up out of the ground of our hearts and given life.
Are you scared and overwhelmed with uncertainty?
Are in the vast expanse of loneliness?
Or in the darkness of rejection?
Do you find yourself imprisoned by injustice?
Do you feel stuck in a situation and it appears that there is no way out?
God gives us songs in the night, and God uses our praise to Him for the benefit of others. The pure sound of praise amidst suffering is so lovely, so grace-filled, and so unnatural that it makes others wonder, “How can they do that?”
Others around you may be watching and wondering.  Praise the Lord in your pain, for His sake. Depend on His grace to help you do so. You just may not know how He may use your dependence on Him. Trust on and allow His songs in the night to flow from you.


Fran said...

Andrea, I had just finished reading the below writing by one of my favorite authors when your post came. They both seem to relate well to times of darkness and times that seem to be an unbearable reality. Yet remembering that He is and always shall be, is of great comfort and truth, which allow those songs in the night to ring out in the most difficult places. I hope you do not mind me sharing this (though it is a bit long, it is worth reading):

It is I!

(Octavius Winslow)

"Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid." Mark 6:50

Listen, then, to the voice of Jesus in the storm!

It is I who raised the tempest in your soul--and will control it.

It is I who sent your affliction--and will be with you in it.

It is I who kindled the furnace--and will watch the flames, and bring you through it.

It is I who formed your burden, who carved your cross--and who will strengthen you to bear it.

It is I who mixed your cup of grief--and will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father's will.

It is I who took from you worldly substance, who bereft you of your child, of the wife of your bosom, of the husband of your youth--and will be infinitely better to you than husband, wife, or child.

It is I who has done it ALL!

I make the clouds My chariot, and clothe Myself with the tempest as with a garment. The night hour is My time of coming, and the dark, surging waves are the pavement upon which I walk. Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.

It is I--your Friend, your Brother, your Savior! I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for your good.

It is I who permitted . . .
the enemy to assail you,
the slander to blast you,
the unkindness to wound you,
the need to press you!
Your affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above--a heaven-sent blessing disguised as an angel of light, clad in a robe of ebony.

I have sent all in love!

This sickness is not unto death--but for the glory of God.

This bereavement shall not always bow you to the earth, nor drape in changeless gloom your life. It is I who ordered, arranged, and controlled it all!

In every stormy wind,
in every darksome night,
in every lonesome hour,
in every rising fear,
--the voice of Jesus shall be heard, saying, "Take courage! It is I! Do not be afraid."

Andrea @ Unfailingly Loved said...

Thank you, Fran, for sharing. "It is I!" -- what a beautiful reminder!

Ann @TheAssetEdge said...

beautiful reflection - thank you for sharing!

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