Echoes From the Campfire

Some people spend most of their lives out in the darkness of the world and need help moving to the daylight.”

                         –Cliff Hudgins  (Viejo and the Hunted Ranger)

       “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.”
                         –Isaiah 60:2 (NKJV)
Most of the words from Job’s three friends were tarnished, speaking either lies, or half-truths.  However, once in a while Elihu would speak the truth, but his motive was not necessarily to help Job but to build himself up.  But I want to look at one thing he says, then direct you to a great reading I came across.  Elihu speaks to Job, “But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night.'” (Job 35:10, NKJV)

          “There are times in which the heart has to fill the place of the eye.  We see nothing; the sky is dark; yet we are not dismayed.  There is no ray of light upon our path that we can discern, no opening in the cloud, no rent in the gloom.  Yet somehow the heart sings–sings in the shadow, sings in the silence.  And at these times we are to take the song as the substitute for the sun.  We are to impute to the heart’s singing all that is wanting to the eye’s vision.  The song is itself to be our revelation.  ‘If it were not so I would have told you,’ says the Lord–would not have suffered you to sing.  The heart’s joy demands a contradiction if it be not true.  If my soul says ‘Yea’ and God does not say ‘Nay,’ the ‘Yea’ is to prevail.  If hope cries, and He answers not, hope’s cry is to be itself the answer, for He has sent me a wing instead of a star; He has given me a song in the night.
          “My soul, be not so anxious about the reason of thy peace!  It is not written that there is a peace which passeth understanding.  What is that but a song in the night!  It is one of the songs without words.  It gives no explanation of its music.  Clouds and darkness may be round about thee, and yet thou mayest be able to sing.  Do not distress thyself to find a cause for thy joy!  Hast thou not read of a bush that was all in flame and yet was not consumed!  The facts were all against its permanence; it was unreasonable that it should live.  But it did live; and why?  Because there was a voice speaking within it, singing within it–against facts, spite of reason, in defiance of circumstances.  It was a song without words, a comfort without cause, a strength without the legions of angels.  So, ofttimes, shall it be with thee.  There shall be moments in which Thy Gethsemane shall reveal no flower, in which the cup shall not pass, in which the legions of angels shall not come; and yet, strange to say, thou shalt be strong.  Thou shalt fly without pinions; thou shalt walk without feet; thou shalt breathe without air; thou shalt praise without words; thou shalt laugh without sunshine; thou shalt bless without knowing why–for the song of thy heart shall itself be thy light, and thy joy shall be only from God.”
                          –George Matheson  (Leaves for Quiet Hours)

       There is a night coming when no man can work.  That speaks of the judgment, but there is a night that you and I might face during our lives.  St. John of the Cross calls it the “Dark Night of the Soul.”  When that night comes, how do we survive the night?  How do we conquer the fear that comes our way because of the night?  That is when we draw upon hope.  We sing in our dark prison caused by the night like Paul and Silas did in the darkness of their prison.  Hum a tune, sing a song of praise to God, but know that He is with us whether we “feel” Him or not.  The darkness does not comprehend His presence, but in our soul, in our heart of hearts we sing the song of hope.
       Objects look different in the darkness.  The trees take strange shapes in our mind as if the branches are reaching out to grab us.  If you’ve seen the Lord of the Rings, that scene where the evil horsemen are searching for the ring is frightening for it takes place in the darkness.  Evil loves the darkness, evil lurks in the darkness waiting, just waiting, and yet we must walk in the night at times.  It reminds me of a midnight walk Annie and I took many years ago in the Big Thicket area of Texas along with several other young married couples.  We were walking when a voice behind us hollered, “Stop!”  He brought forward a light, and shone it upon the ground in front of us.  If Annie had taken another step she would have placed her foot on a copperhead.  Two things happened there in the darkness:  a voice sounded, and light was cast upon the evil waiting to strike.
       As we go through life, there will be times of darkness–natural as well as spiritual.  In both of these we have to beware of our surroundings, but we also need to be listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and then allow His light to shine.  Ah, but I hear you, what happens if He does not shine the light?  Then have faith and depend upon hope and begin to sing in the darkness for He surely will hear you and see you through.