And at Midnight… Your SUDDENLY is determined by what you do in the darkest hour
So often when we experience dark periods in our lives our emotions seem to stage a coup d’état and forcefully take over the governance of our mind and body. Somehow much of what we’ve learned, mysteriously vanishes as we are overcome by fear and despair. We encounter circumstances which seem to shut out the light of hope and survival. All the principles we were taught about navigating through difficult places and weathering the storms of life, to rise as conquerors in the face of adversity escapes us.
There comes a time in every Believer’s life when they will be confronted with situations that mimic gross darkness, with no apparent way out. “He, having received such a [strict] command, threw them into the inner prison (dungeon) and fastened their feet in the stocks [in an agonizing position]”. Acts 16:24 paints a picture of two of God’s men of faith and power being thrown into the maximum security section of a dungeon; no doubt, the conditions were deplorable, unsanitary and utterly “God-forsaken”. But was it?
Were they abandoned and left to fend for themselves? Was there no hope of recovery for them? Of course not! God was with them even in their darkest hour.
Imagine what they must have been thinking when they found themselves in such a predicament. If they were going to survive they had to make the right choices in the midst of terrifying circumstances. They could choose to cry and complain about the harshness of their accommodations, they could obsesses over all the negative possibilities facing them or, in the darkest moment of their imprisonment they could celebrate the greatness of the God about whom they preached, by lifting their hearts and voices to Him in worship.
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard 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 every one’s bands were loosed. (Acts 16:25-26)
AND AT MIDNIGHT… Your SUDDENLY is determined by what you do in the darkest hour
It was the decision of Paul and Silas to worship instead of worry, to praise instead of panic that produced a foundation shaking demonstration of the power of God to deliver not only them but everyone around them. Their suddenly experience came after they made a choice to celebrate their Savior in the darkness instead of cowering under the weight of their circumstance in fear. They refuse to be afraid of the darkness they encountered, instead they fearfully magnified the wonder and goodness of their God. It seems they had an understanding that there are times when the darkness is necessary in order for the brilliant splendor of the Lord to shine.
I am reminded of something that happened a while ago while preparing my grandson (3 years old at the time) for bed. He said to me “Nana, I want to go see the stars”. I explained to him that it was not a very starry night here in the city and that it was not quite dark enough to really see the True Brilliance of the stars that were in the sky.
As the bedtime preparation progressed I thought about using the opportunity to help him overcome a fear of the dark, and explain to him that not all darkness is bad. At that very moment The HOLY SPIRIT pressed upon me that a backdrop of darkness is often necessary for TRUE BRILLIANCE to shine through.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)
My friend, do not be afraid of the dark, let The LORD use it to reveal the intensity of HIS LIGHT on the INSIDE of YOU. See, it is what you do in the dark that will invite panic and fear or will invite the powerful presence of our faithful Father to shake the very foundation of the things which imprison you.