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Night Season

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119:105


I was listening to a familiar old hymn today, and noticed the phrase “In the Night Season”. When I was young I thought those words meant night-time. You know, when the sun went down, and it was night. But today I realized the author of that song meant hard times, dark valleys, or total heartbreak.

It’s easy to praise God and give Him full credit when we’re experiencing shady days, and cool, quiet nights. The breeze of life’s happy events fluffs our spirit, and puts a spring in the step. We can’t imagine life any other way. For sure, God is SO good, He’ll get us through anything, how can we possibly question the future?

But then hard times hit: The spouse calls it quits, the cancer is terminal, the accident victim doesn’t survive, or the baby who was longed for doesn’t arrive. Night Season has come like a dark enveloping shroud, leaving its’ victim sobbing, perhaps even screaming in anguish. Their breath comes in choking gasps while struggling to stand upright and staggering through the days that follow. They go through the motions, nodding in acknowledgment to endless condolences, accepting sorrowful hugs. But even on the sunniest day, it still feels like night. Sleep comes, but only for short hours, then silence fills the darkness.

The rest of the world sleeps on, but there will be no more for sleep for the person struggling through their Night Season. Questions parade through their exhausted head: “What now? Who will help me? What about the kids? How can I face another day?” But the darkness holds no answers.
 
It’s the Night Season. And as days progress to weeks, people go back to their job, their family, their lives. But the person suffering through their Night Season is left in the dark. It encompasses both the body and the soul. It’s in every sigh, every unwanted meal, and in more sleepless nights.
 
I was in the worst Night Season of my life when I read these words: “God allows hard times to bring glory to Himself.” I thought: “WHAT? How can that be? It’s so dark, how can this bring glory to my God? I can’t move! I can’t stop crying! I can’t formulate sentences. People tell me details of conversations I don’t recall having. This can’t possibly be glorifying God!” Yet I had to admit, I was always aware of God’s care, and His presence.
 
When I forced my mind to think only of God, I found He was right there, holding me while I wept against His chest. I wondered aloud how long this searing pain would last. No one offered pat answers: “It’s different for everyone.” That wasn’t much help. I wanted a time-line, something concrete to look forward to.
 
But God had a different plan. Each day and then in the night, He assured me of His loving for me and I became more aware of His presence than I ever had in my life. As the days turned into weeks I saw that He was making a path before me. When I had no idea how I would make it around the next bend in life’s road, I arrived to find that He had taken care of the unknown details ahead of me. Sometimes the realization of His Presence going before me took my breath away. God was getting glory by showing Himself to me in ways I had never seen before.
 
Dark times don’t only come when tragedy strikes. Sometimes discouragement and despondency arrive with a truck-load of ‘small’ problems. The car breaks down, the kids get sick, the phone quits working, and someone is inexplicably rude. By itself, one of these events might be tolerated, but when they all arrive in a short time, it’s easy to question God: “What in the world?”

Sometimes it’s harder to trust God during times of small inconveniences than it is during the BIG ones. After all, none of these small events are life threatening. Other people have it so much worse than we do, so why does it feel like the darkness is threatening to engulf us? It’s the Night Season.

 

Charles Spurgeon said: “I’ve learned to kiss the wave that slams me into the Rock of Ages.”

 

Times of intense darkness force us to seek the only true Light to guide our way. God has promised He will never leave us or forsake us and He cannot fail, even when we don’t feel His presence. His Word is a light for us to follow—guiding the way through dense darkness.

 

Sometimes we don’t see that light, because we’re too intent on the darkness. We can’t stop thinking about the problems or tragedy that has brought us to our Night Season. That’s when we need to wait on the Lord.


‘Waiting’ is much more an attitude than it is a position. It’s a quiet expectation, knowing God has everything well planned and perfectly timed. That waiting is not frantic or edgy, but is peaceful, and trusting. It’s the time we turn off the radio in the car or we shut off the TV and the phone while we let our heart empty out before Him.

 

Shutting off noises and forcing ourselves to listen in the stillness is an intense act of the will. But the real Light for our life’s darkness is found in quiet consideration of God’s Word. “Be still and know that I am God.” We will hear Him when we stop to listen. We need to schedule God into our lives just as we would schedule a day off or dinner with friends. With careful consideration we will see where we can forgo other details in our lives, and spend that time instead reading the Bible while quietly contemplating our loving Heavenly Father.

 

The song that refers to ‘Night Season’ is called God Leads Us Along. Take a moment to play the video I have attached here and read the lyrics written on the screen. It will encourage you to consider God’s loving hand that is offering to lead you through your Night Season.

 

I have waited quietly for God many times during my Night Seasons. He has always met me there and led me safely through the darkness. I know He will do the same for you.


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