But I will sing about YOUR STRENGTH. I will rejoice in your love EVERY morning. You have been my place of safety, the place I can run to when troubles come. I will sing praises to you my SOURCE of STRENGTH. You, GOD are my place of safety. You are the God who loves me. Psalm 59:16
It wasn’t a polite request. I wasn’t dressed in my Sunday best repeating the printed prayers in the bulletin. I wasn’t cozied up in my over stuffed chair with my coffee, my journal and my bible. It was dark and the room was cold. The increasing tightness in my chest and swirling thoughts in my head had pushed me to my bold middle of the night demand. No waiting until morning…
GIVE ME A WORD.
Something, anything that will move me from this place of confusion and discouragement. Not tomorrow, not next week not after I run through the list of my ideas for solutions one more time…
1:30 am – Why is it always the middle of the night when the worries of the day invite themselves back into my mind – demanding a solution? When all I want is sleep. When what I really NEED is sleep. When I know that if I don’t sleep I can pretty much count the next day as loss.
Maybe, just maybe….. that it is in the dark, when my resources feel empty, when my thinking is foggy, when I am most vulnerable… maybe it’s in this time that God knows I’ll be ready to pay attention. Maybe its when my mountains that feel conquerable in the day in my personal strength become hopelessly impossible with what I have to offer in the middle of the night. Maybe it is what is necessary to move me to the recognition that I don’t have what it takes. That I will never be or have enough to fix or answer the questions in my world. Maybe the darkness and the cold and the middle of the night wake ups are actually God’s beautiful invitation to seek the thousands of promises for peace and power and provision that I “claim” all day long… and ask…
“But do I really believe them?”
Thousands of them. Over and over and over again – repeated truths of love, hope, provision, strength , peace. Promises from our all loving, all knowing God. Spoken so many times so we cannot possibly miss them.
But gosh… I do.
I quickly read them, sing them, text them to friends that need encouragement…. and then at 1:30 a.m. I hear God saying…
“…but do YOU believe them. In this question, with your issue, in your pain?”
And in the dark and the cold… I make a demand.
GIVE ME A WORD.
and I do what many of us do in the middle of night when we cant sleep.
I pick up my phone.
But I don’t go to social media, or email or my business website….
I click on my Bible app and go straight to the verse of the day. I don’t have time nor do I want to wait another minute for the swirling to stop, and the tightness to leave my chest and sweet sleep to return… I need a word right now. And my generous, faithful God shows up and meets me right where I need him.
But God, I will sing about YOUR STRENGTH. I will rejoice in your love every morning. You have been my place of safety, the place I can run to when troubles come. I will sing praises to YOU my source of strength. YOU GOD are my place of safety. You are the God who loves me! Psalm 59:16.
In one verse I felt God take my face and turn it off of my unanswered questions and turn it towards …..
HIS STRENGTH. He didn’t remind me that I had what it took. That I could continue going it alone. He reminded me that He. Is. Strong. PERIOD.
Strong enough to hold every one of my questions. To carry them in his capable arms. No need for me to feel the weight when he had what I did not.
I sat up in my bed, reading the promises over and over…. HIS STRENGTH, HIS STRENGTH. My responsibility is only to
…. sing about HIS STRENGTH.
I rested my head down on my pillow and drifted off to a settled, deep sleep. HIS STRENGTH.
The gift of the dark…was a desperate searching for the light that was met with the soft glow of the peace of God’s truth. Open arms ready to give what I didn’t know I needed.
The morning light brought with it …
the same unanswered questions.
the same health diagnosis of loved ones.
the same relationship struggles.
yet a new perspective, a new hope, a new peace.
Oh darkness…. did you know you could usher in such a sweet gift?
Oh friend… did you know YOUR darkness could be a doorway to your greatest gift? The greatest gift?
If you have a few minutes at the end of this read…. Here are some promises from Psalm 18 and an invitation to ask yourself… Do I believe them… in my unanswered questions, in my darkness, in my sleepless nights?
YOU GOD make me strong. God is bedrock under my feet. The castle in which I live. My rescuing knight.
Saves me from my enemies.
He hears my voice- my cry goes to his very ears.
He rescues me from strong enemies-those who hated me and were too strong for me.
Lord is my support.
Cause my lamp to be lighted and to shine
Illumines my darkness
By Gods strength I can crush a troop and leap over a wall.
He encircles me with strength.
He makes my feet like hinds feet ( able to stand firmly and tread safely on paths of testing and trouble) He sets me ( securely) upon high places.
Trains my hands for war, YOUR right hand upholds and sustains me.
YOUR gentleness ( gracious response when I pray) makes me great.
YOU enlarge the path beneath me and make my steps secure so that my feet will not slip.
Rescued me from the contention of the people.
Placed me as the head of nations.
For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. Psalm 33:4-5