“I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel, who even at night directs my heart.” ~ Psalm 16

 For decades I’ve called myself a morning person, an early bird. I am drawn to the light for so many reasons. It reveals truth with such clarity. It renews hope. It warms the soul.

On the contrary, darkness veils the earth and thus my life. I do not like having anything concealed. I cannot trust the darkness, because I cannot see clearly what is before or behind me. The murkiness of the night sky frightens me, because daylight does not muddle what is and is not real or true or good.

So my heart, like my aching body, was recently jostled awake once our newborn made her debut into the world. All at once, I was thrust back into chaos with her erratic need to sleep and eat. It didn’t coincide with mine, of course. The party didn’t usually begin for her until nightfall, just as I was peacefully drifting into sleep.

Agitated, I got up with her night after night, wishing for eight consecutive hours but knowing it would not arrive for months. I needed that eight hours so that I could tackle life and whatever surprises lay in store on a daily basis. Over time, I found myself loathing the darkness, willing it away. I dreaded dusk, because I knew sleep would be elusive, albeit temporarily.

But then something unexpected, something graced happened. The night feedings gave way to prayer, for me to bask in the rare silence that night afforded me; when everyone else slumbered, I had a sacred space for God.

So I entered that solitude hazily at first, then hungrily. It was the only time each day I could cry out my frustrations to Jesus and then be still in His soft, gentle presence.

After a while, the night became my day. I had forgotten the hidden beauty of darkness and how often holiness disguises itself from the naked eye. Night, darkness, reminds me that God longs for us to pursue Him as He pursues us; relentlessly, desperately, endlessly.

Love—authentic, deep, abiding love—cannot be easily found. It must be sought, protected, and fought for. It must be worth giving up our preference for security and assurance. It must be worth us changing, conforming to the One who waits for us in the stillness and silence that night provides.

I may be clothed in darkness in this stage of life, but I anticipate the dawn. Life cycles through moments of concealment to revelation and back again. Whether we operate as early birds or night owls, God meets us and transforms us when all of our time—days and nights—become offerings of love for Him.

Text (c) Jeannie Ewing, 2017, all rights reserved.

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