As a young child, I can remember my mother singing through the house as she did her chores. She had the gift of a beautiful voice and she filled our home with it.
I was the oldest and then came my sister, Diane. We were the first two of six children. When she and I were very young, my mother often sang us to sleep at night.
There on our bed all tucked in after a warm bath, clean pajamas slipped into, our hair towel dried, and prayers said, she sang.
When darkness set in, often thoughts that weren’t there in the daylight hours would surface. Like those unrelenting thoughts of monsters that are common in the imaginations of small children.
I needed a glimmer of light somewhere close by to pierce through the darkness.
A night-light tucked in the corner of the room helped. Or the low-wattage hall light that could be seen shining dimly outside our bedroom door brought some security to me and, I’m sure, to my sister as well. The twinkle from the light helped ease us into the night around us.
Then came my mother’s voice, soft, mellow, and sweet. She sang over us and we became comfortable in our surroundings and slipped off to sleep.
As time went on, my nightly fears lessened and eventually vanished. But when I think about sadness, depression, hardships, grief, those difficult seasons of life, even as an adult, the night can often be the hardest time of day to make it through.
Our fears tend to heighten when the light slips away. The difficulties that are challenges during the day can seem like insurmountable mountains at night.
On the other hand, there is a darkness that can consume us even in the daylight. This has more to do with the darkness of our soul. It’s what happens to us when we run away from God–when we think that we can handle life alone. It happens when we don’t allow his light to penetrate our dark areas.
When we let him in, our eyes open and we see life from his perspective. We see and know the difference between true light and true darkness and we view everything here on earth–the good, the messy, the awful, the beautiful as it is…temporary. A light dawns and God brightens our way and illuminates our path.
Isaiah put it this way when he told the people of Israel that a light would be coming into the world:
Isaiah was prophesying about the coming of Jesus.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
It’s easy to get lost in the dark but he actively seeks those who can’t find their way, because he is light and deeply loves every single person that he pursues.
I like that God provided a way to pierce our spiritual darkness. Whether it’s in the bright of day, or twilight, the evening hours or overnight hours, he is there and is always casting light on our circumstances, our shortcomings and showing us how to maneuver our way through the dark avenues of this world.
He steers us clear of the pitfalls, takes us through detours, over the mountains and through the valleys.
When we think our path should always be easy, he shows us that the easy way isn’t always the best way to get to our destination.
So we follow. We follow the light. Allowing him to guide us through this great adventure of life.
When we forget to follow and don’t listen to his words–which are actually light too–( Psalm 119: 105), when we veer off the road, get lost in the dark and cry out for him there he’ll be to guide us back again.
He comes after those who call out to him. I love that about him, because although he is always faithful we, at times, are not. Sometimes we wander.
When we lay our head upon our pillow at night, we can always be assured that he delights over us – watches over us – and did you know that he even sings over us? Zephaniah 3:17 tells us so…The LORD your God is with you…He will take great delight in you…He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Just as my mother comforted my sister and me with her singing, God sings over his children and as our night-light cast a glow through the darkness, Jesus does the same in our life.
After all, we are all like little children to him and he is our father.
Written by: Nancy Janiga ©2014