The Ministry of the Night
It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
There is a limit to man's ability to live without joy. Even Christ could endure the cross only because of the joy set before Him. God knows exactly how much pressure each one of us can take. He knows how long we can endure the night, so He gives the soul relief, first by welcome glimpses of the morning star and then by the fuller light that harbingers the morning.
Wallowing at the bottom of a deep dark abyss is no place to launch life from. You can not see in the dark. Much moving in that blinded state will likely only cause you to fall further into the chasm. You also know that God is with you. No matter how deep and dark there He is also. While you can not see in the dark He can. You reach out and hold fast to Him. You wait for His leading. You will not move unless He guides you. If He does not move then you remain stationary, waiting and absorbing the ministry of the night.
Slowly you discover God's love in your suffering. Your heart begins to approve the whole thing. You learn from yourself the healing action of faith without supporting pleasure. You feel and understand the ministry of the night; its power to purify, to detach, to humble, to destroy the fear of death and, what is more important at the moment, the fear of life. You learn that sometimes pain can do what even joy cannot.
A mighty man of valor suggested to me that a body whose only point of reference was fixed to its' self would not know if it were moving until it came into the light. He suggested that the entire valley might be moving. Perhaps to a high plain or even a mountain top. Perhaps?
I have passed through the abyss and now stand poised on the threshold of morning. The threshold of morning is faith. It bids me believe every day holds the potential to be better than the last. His favor is, indeed, for life.
"Thank You, Father, for the ministry of the night, for the lessons
of pain. But thank You, too, that we're not alone in the night.
Thank You for the morning star and the glimpse of the light of