night1920

Gordon Allan

Learning to develop your night vision

Having an awareness of God’s presence will help even during the darkest periods of life, writes Gordon Allan.

Very few men would choose to work on a night shift if they had the choice. I salute those who manage to function (and come to church) after experiencing the stresses and rigours that working through the night places on your body clock.

Yet many Christian men choose to live spiritually on a ‘night shift’. I am not thinking of those ‘who minister by night in the house of God’, rather those who, when ‘sorrow (or weeping) may remain for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning’ (Psalm 30:5), choose to remain on a night shift of sorrow instead of experiencing the joy of the morning.

I believe the ‘sorrow’ of the night shift represents those negative events in life that shake us, shape us and shame us, those cause men to choose darkness, apathy and bitterness. Few men go looking for sorrow situations yet lots of men settle for sorrow as their lot in life rather than looking for ‘the joy of the morning’. If you have found yourself on the night shift of sorrow for longer than you would have liked then let me encourage you – Jesus is on your side!

May I encourage you to develop night vision during difficult times; having an awareness of God’s consistent committed presence, even during the darkest periods of life, helps.

Romans 5:1-5 teaches that during sorrowful ‘night shift’ suffering a greater redemptive purpose might be discovered. The Apostle Paul writes that: Having an awareness of God’s presence will help even during the darkest periods of life, writes Gordon Allan

“Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given.”

Those with night vision ask the greater question of ‘what do you want to teach me through this sorrowful circumstance?’ rather than ‘why have you let this happen to me, God?’

The challenge is: what will we do at that moment? My suggestion would be to let the Holy Spirit help you – he is the Counsellor and Comforter after all (John14:16).

I am a morning person and once I’m awake I have to get up. Isaiah 60:1 says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” The Father’s ‘God-ness’, all his holy, heavenly nature and character calls you out of your ‘night shift’ existence and wants to help you develop an ‘arise attitude’ – to embrace the morning with all the challenges and opportunity it brings. Morning always comes.

Joy is a kingdom quality (Romans 14:17) that comes with the morning. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and our ‘strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10), found in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 16:11). Holy Spirit-fuelled praise to God through sorrow situations brings his joy in the morning.

And just in case you are still struggling, follow the leader’s example. King Jesus was the ‘man of sorrows, familiar with suffering’ (Isaiah 53:3). We are to ‘fix our eyes on Jesus… who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame... Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so you will not grow weary and lose heart’ (Hebrews 12:2-3).

If you find yourself drawn to ‘night shift’ thinking or living, consider Jesus, his sacrifice, death and resurrection. Morning is coming.

 

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