This is a difficult week for us. In addition to preparing for a LONG stretch of travel to various mission conferences, we are in the midst of a local mission conference, striving to finish fixing up the house and looking for a home for Barnabas. If the house isn’t finished before we leave (which is very likely to be the case), we’ll simply have to deal with the last minute details when we can; however, we must find a home for Barnabas before we leave on Saturday, and we’ve had no leads. We’re both tired and feeling the stress of all that must be done. But through it all, we are clinging to the truth of this song, and I wanted to share it with you today for all of you who—like us—are weary in well-doing.
Yesterday’s post was a reminder that no matter how bad things may look, God will work all things out for our good and His glory. We have His promise on that, but often, our faith in that promise will be tested. You know Jason and I have been dealing with the situation of finding a new home for Barnabas. This has been a difficult and heart-wrenching task, but it looked like some things were finally coming together.
In the midst of all this, we received a phone call last night notifying us that Jason’s replacement at work had quit without notice, leaving the owner high and dry. Jason, being the loyal person he is, agreed to pick up the work on the calendar until other arrangements could be made. We had just begun to settle into somewhat of a rhythm for doing deputation full-time, but now, we’re back to dividing our attention between work and ministry.
My first reaction was to stress and panic. This was not the way things were supposed to work! In the moment, it seemed as if all my prayers over the past weeks and months had gone unheard, and I felt frustrated and confused. As I lay in bed last night, I pleaded with God to give me peace despite these troubling circumstances. And this morning, God gave a song. . .well, actually He gave me several.
The first two songs I want to share with you below. These are songs that have meant a lot to me over the years, but I admit, I haven’t heard either of them for quite some time. This morning, as I prepared for my morning walk with Barnabas, the first song came to mind “out of the blue,” and as I reached the end of the tune, the second song began to play through my thoughts. I cannot tell you what a blessing each song was, but even more than that, how blessed I felt at God’s reminder that He gives a song in the night.
As I listened to the radio in the car, I smiled as I tuned in to two songs about how God hears and answers prayer. One of them even went so far as to say, “I’m hear to tell you your prayer has been heard.” It was as if God was speaking to me directly and reminding me that even though things aren’t going the way I hoped or planned, He is still in control. He is working. He is watching. He is listening. And He cares.
I love it, and I can certainly relate. I am one of those people who can hear a song on Sunday and still be humming it on Friday. Whether it's a new song or a familiar one doesn't matter. If the melody is catchy enough to attract my attention, then it will stick with me long after the song has stopped playing. I find myself humming it at the oddest times, and this is particularly frustrating with songs that are unfamiliar. Not only do I not know the words, but often a specific part of the melody replays over and over and over again to the point that I'm just about tired of it. Finally, my mind will get distracted by other things, and the song will slip away, only to return an hour later. In some ways, this is great, but in other ways, it can be annoying.
Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. - Psalm 42:8
Life is a series of days and nights. Days when the sun shines brightly and all seems right with the world. Nights when the despair seems so heavy that we wonder if we'll survive it to see the dawning of a new day. Fortunately, the above psalm tells us that the song of the lovingkindness of God that is so evident during the day remains with us through the long, dark night. The song may end, but the melody lingers on. The good times may end, but God's faithfulness remains. The happiness may fade, but the joy of the Lord is ever present. The pleasure may cease, but God's promises remain. As Mark Lowry put it, "In the dark times, we have to remember what we saw in the light."
I don't know what song you're singing today. Perhaps you enjoy the good old hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, or maybe you prefer How Great Thou Art--both of which are obvious songs to sing in the brightness of the day. But when darkness comes, and the message of those songs no longer seems to be true, allow the melody to live on. You may not feel like singing. You may not know the words, or maybe you no longer believe them. That's understandable. Things get fuzzy in the dark. But whether you feel it or not and whether you believe it or not, the melody lives on within you. Let it bubble to the surface. Let it flood your heart with the reminder of God's goodness. And rest in the knowledge that God loves you enough to give you a song in the night.
And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. - Psalm 40:3