My friend and I encountered conflict the other day. A fly on the wall would have thought the conflict was between us. But it wasn’t. We are on the same side. Even if the conversation sounded the opposite. Anger erupted. And it hurt deep. My heart broke as I discovered how deep her hurt was.
We are in a season of night.
In difficult seasons, conflict is nearly inevitable. Stress piles upon confusion which piles upon grief which piles upon overwhelm. Our emotions are ravaged, and our words respond out of raw emotion.
But we are walking through the night together.
And we are definitely not alone. God’s presence is right there with us. Through the conflict, the confusion, the cries for help. If we can open our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and our hearts to love, we will experience the joys of His song in our night. But in order to see them, our search must be intentional.
Every season of suffering is filled with little joys.
Shortly after our conflict, I overheard a song playing on my friend’s phone. “Ten Thousand Reasons” by Matt Redman. That was our turning point. Our focus shifted. We turned from tears and hurtful words to forgiveness and restoration. There is always a reason for my heart to sing.
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find
I was surprised by a glorious sunrise the next morning.
My days have been dreary and gloomy, both in the weather and in my heart. But that one moment filled me with such joy. A little joy reaches far in a hurting heart.
That evening, I was again astonished.
A breathtaking sunset closed my day. My long, hardest of days was book-ended by beauty.
Morning and evening. Beginning and end. Alpha and Omega.
Jesus gave my heart a glimpse of Himself, a glimpse of His presence with me.
I want more glimpses of Him.
So I set my heart on looking for Him, my ten thousand reasons to sing His praise. Do I dare aim for 10,000?
- A glorious sunrise
- A breathtaking sunset
- Jesus. My Alpha and Omega
- A reminder that He never fails
- Gates raised leaving the parking deck (free parking!)
- Divinely orchestrated conversations
- An encouraging text from a friend…at just the right time
- A hug from my child
- Day after day as a miracle
- An icky pot scrubbed clean by my husband
- “You are doing well” from a mentor
- A quiet moment by the fire
- Words written decades ago that mirror my heart
- A cardinal in the winter woods
I need more glimpses of Him.
If I am going to survive this season of night, I must know I’m not alone. My mind knows that truth. But my heart lags behind.
My God is with me. People I know are with me. People from ages past are with me.
King David is with me.
In Psalm 77, Asaph (tabernacle worship leader in King David’s days) is with me. His voice is an ancient echo of my own heart.
My voice rises to God…He will hear me…In the night my hand was stretched out…My soul refused to be comforted…I was so troubled that I cannot speak…I will remember my song in the night…
Will the Lord reject forever?…Has His lovingkindness ceased forever?…Has His promise come to an end?…Has God forgotten to be gracious, or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?…
You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples. You have by Your power redeemed Your people…
Your way was in the sea and Your paths in the mighty waters, and Your footprints may not be know.
You led Your people like a flock.
I cry out. I question God. I wonder why He appears to not answer.
But I command my soul to remember. I trust that He leads me, even if I cannot see His steps. I resolve to sing my song.
My life depends on my song in the night.
But this night is not mine alone. I am walking with others. Others of God’s dearly loved children. He gave us one another to sing our song together. Songs of His praise. Songs of His goodness. Songs of His presence.
Who will join my song?