Sleepless in the Dark
It’s 3 AM. Summer night—or early morning. I’d been tossing, turning, and catnapping. But not sleeping. I was tired. But the brain kept going at full speed. The guilt from staying up too late reading (I had to finish the book, you know. Couldn’t leave the heroes in dangers unknown!) kept me up now.
A sudden awareness caught at me. If I couldn’t sleep, then I should get up. I sat on the cushioned seat by the wide-open window. The soft breeze caressed my cheeks. The scents of pine and forest filled my nose. I gazed at the stars. They really do wink.
I saw the Face of God there. Long ago I’d learned to perceive His face in the night sky.
Storm in the Dark
Some years ago, after a prolonged family situation, I came to the end of myself. Late one night, I ran out of the house, jumped in my car and drove to a secluded area to have it out with God. I remember crying and screaming at God. Why didn’t He fix it?
“Where are you, God? Don’t you see what’s happening here? Do you see me at all?”
After the storm of anguish had passed while I sat in my dark car, I watched the stars shimmer. If there had been no darkness, the beautiful lights would not be seen. The hand of God put them there. I stared for a long time after the storm as my soul settled.
God saw me. Even in the shadow of His hand.
Calm in the Dark
If you have ever sat up at 3 AM, you’ll know that there is a hush in the air. All is quiet. No cars buzz by on the busy street. No voices drift in the air. No dogs bark. Even the birds sleep.
Deep calm sits in the darkness of early morning hours. It is a time to listen. Whispers in the gentle breeze float from God in the shadows.
This night I sat there by the open window, listening for God’s voice. The stars above seemed to send His soft words. Words of contentment and peace. Words of entreaty for others. I think I prayed in deeper ways than I do in the daylight for those He brought to mind.
Embrace the Dark
By 3:30 AM, a line began to form above the hills to the north. What? Dawn already? Maybe I would sit up and watch the night fade away with growing light. But no. God assured me that He would wake me another time to watch the sun rise. I went back to bed and slept soundly until the alarm rang at the usual wakeup hour.
I learned that a grumpy time transforms to a great sweetness when we listen to and obey the voice of God deep inside us. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He has promised always to be with us. His presence in the night watches are every bit as comforting as the psalms express.
Embrace the night watches. God is there.