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
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