February 5, 2012

Stand in the night

Jesus said to His disciples (and to me), “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.” (John 12:35) 

Walking with God is easy when I know what He wants, when prayers are being answered, when life makes sense. But what about the opposite? What about the foggy times when I’m uncertain of His will, when it seems His ears are deaf, and when nothing makes sense? 

David experienced those dark times. He’d served Saul faithfully and Saul was trying to kill him. His own sons were after his throne and he was not certain who he could trust. 

Others have had experiences that could make them think that God had abandoned them. Job certainly felt that way after losing his family, his health, and all that he had. Yet this man knew that God was still there. He said, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face” (Job 13:15) and “He knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (Job 23:10). Despite all that happened, Job had that inner assurance that kept popping up from his spirit and out of his mouth.

Worshiping God in the tough times is like that. My focus might be more on my troubles than it should be, but even then, the assurance of God’s presence and purpose for my life whispers and comforts me. Again, it is easy to worship and serve God in the light, but serving Him in the night is not impossible.

Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord! Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord! May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth! (Psalm 134:1–3)
The psalmist honored those who stand in the night. He bids them (and me) to lift up my hands and worship Him, even in a dark place. He also reminds me that He is the Creator of the universe who always blesses His people. Circumstances change. Light comes and sometimes goes, but He remains the same.

Lord, every so often I need a reminder that You are my anchor, my firm place. This week, I’ve seen many answers to prayer, but faced perplexing situations and not known how to pray. Sometimes the shadows seem to overwhelm the sunlight. Yet in all this, You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. You are faithful even when I am not, or when I feel as if You are not here or hearing me. You teach me to walk by faith, not by sight and to stand by night and lift up my hands and bless You. 

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