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Midnight Moments

Shifting Your Focus from Darkness to Light



Darkness has always been “a thing” for me. As a child, I dreaded the feeling of lying in bed wide awake while the rest of the house was peacefully sleeping. On rare occasions, I drifted right off to sleep in my white wrought iron daybed, snuggling closely in my mom's comfort and warmth as she approached the last paragraph of a poem in Shell Silverstein’s “A Light in The Attic.” Those nights were the best, but unfortunately, not the norm for this busy brain of mine.


Nighttime was hard for me, and as an adult I now realize how tiring it probably was for my mom. But even on the most exhausting days, her selfless, loving, compassionate heart allowed her to comfort her daughter instead of admitting that she was long past the point of being ready for bed.


I think somewhere deep inside, she compassionately related to the heaviness of the “midnight moments.” It is that time of night when most are asleep, the house is quiet, and you almost instantly realize how many hours will pass before the “sunshine wakes up” (as my oldest would say).


 I would argue that it is literally and metaphorically the darkest hour of the day. It is the moment that logic and rational thinking have gone to sleep, along with most of the people that we know. It is the hour that lies between “what has happened” and “what may soon happen.” It is where the past and the future merge lanes. And here in the stillness of the night, clarity and understanding of a million little things are hours out of reach.


For some of us, in this place surrounded by darkness, there is


loneliness and despair.


There is fear and regret.


Sorrow and heartache


Sadness and grief


Worry and anxiety.


Shame and guilt


Fear and doubt.


Frustration and bitterness.


Often, the midnight hour feels hopeless—a lost cause. And it is often in these “dark” and unfamiliar moments that our faith is tested and refined. What if, in these moments of uncertainty, confusion, and trials, we intentionally shifted our focus from our circumstances to the unchanging nature of God? 


I would take an educated guess and say that though many of us have most likely endured the darkness of difficulties, unlike Paul and Silas, we have not had our garments torn off of us, been beaten with rods, had blows inflicted upon us, and been thrown into a prison (Acts 16:22-23).


But yet…


We have struggled.


We have tossed and turned.


We have cried and wept.


We have questioned and have pleaded.


What if we made a conscious decision to pray and sing hymns to the One who created us in HIS image to Worship Him?


When, how much, and to what degree we face adversity on this earth is often not up to us, but how we choose to respond is. We are given the choice to fix our eyes on the faithfulness and magnificent perfection of the Almighty God, or we can set our thoughts on our present despair and darkness.


Do you know what happened as a result of the prayers and praise of Paul and Silas?


“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.” Acts 16:25-32

You see the beautiful thing about the midnight moments is that it is actually the start of a new day. And while it seems so dark in these moments, darkness is giving way to the morning light. And no matter where you have found yourself or where you are today, there is always hope because God's promises never fail. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5


If you are wallowing in fear in the midnight moments of life, friend, shift your focus to what you were created to do. In the unknowns, fears, and brokenness, pray and sing hymns to your Father who loves you in such a way as this:


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Joyfully HIS, Jennifer N. Pearson


 

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