Monday, May 9, 2011

A Day Song for a Dark Night

Our senses are amazing. They make us aware of our surroundings. They connect us with what’s going on around us. They take the general and make it specific. Sounds are noises until our hearing clarifies the message. Smells are random until our noses detect scents. Sights are overwhelming until we focus. Flavors all run together until we identify the taste. We are isolated and disconnected until we touch.

I sat outside last evening during the transition from day to night. A lot goes on in those moments. The birds are high-tailing it to their roosts, the bugs are making music, the mosquitoes are hunting victims, the humans are heading inside. Everything is settling down.
What captured my thoughts while all this was going on was how my senses were adjusting as well. I’m highly visual. My eyes are constantly taking in everything they can. But when night fell and the sky darkened, sight gave way to hearing. I suddenly realized that I was more aware of the sounds of night than the sights.

When Israel was captured by the Babylonians they entered a darkness of soul—a darkness so black that, to them, the songs they sang in the light of Jerusalem were inappropriate now. They asked, “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”
What they didn’t know was the Lord’s song doesn’t require light or location. In fact, it is sung best in dark places. When we enter the foreign land our senses have to give way to that which is more capable of functioning in the moment. Our eyes may work great during the day but darkness requires another kind of sight—eyes of faith. Faith gets us through the night, knowing that joy comes in the morning.

We can sing the Lord’s song in the foreign land as long as we realize where the song comes from. It comes from our hope in a God who accomplishes that which concerns us, who works all things together for good, who completes the work He begins in us, who has granted to us the assurance of His presence, power and purpose.
Faith is God’s gift that allows me to connect to Him, feel His presence, taste His goodness, smell the aroma of His favor, hear His voice, see His handiworks. It is an abiding constant that cannot fail. Even though life gets dark, and all my natural senses reach their limit of usefulness, faith will remain.

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