A young woman was involved in a car wreck that caused her to be in a coma for a long, long time. The nurses all took very good care of her--bathed her, combed her hair, turned her so she wouldn't get bed sores, etc. She was neat, and her room was spotless. Obviously, she was taken care of in a professional manner by a dedicated staff of caring nurses. There was one nurse there in the ward who did all these tasks plus something else. She sang to her while she was giving her a bath or combing her hair, etc. One day something wonderful and unexpected happened. The girl came out of her coma. Everyone was jubilant and excited. She was asked by those around her if she remembered anything. Did she remember them combing her hair, bathing her, cleaning her room? Did she remember them talking to her? On and on they asked. She paused and thought for a moment and then said she did not remember any of those things; however, she remembered someone singing.
She heard songs in the night, didn't she? Did you know that God gives us songs in the night? Job 35:10 says: "But none saith, Where is God, my maker, who giveth songs in the night?"
God loves us and cares for us. He is not unmindful of the difficulties that we are experiencing in our lives. No matter how difficult and perplexing our problems are, God gives us the grace and the strength to go through our trials and allows us to rise above our circumstances. His heart of love is touched by our griefs, our sorrows, our perplexities. He gives us songs in the night.
That the nights are long and the days are dim?
Can He be touched by the grief I bear,
Which saddens the heart and whitens the hair?
About His throne are eternal calms
And bliss unruffled by any strife--
How can He care for my little life?
And yet, I want Him to care for me,
While I live in this world where sorrows be!
When the lights die down from the path I take,
When strength is feeble and friends forsake,
When love, and music that once did bless,
Have left me in silence and loneliness,
And my life song changes to sobbing prayers,
Then my heart cries out for a God who cares.
O wonderful story of deathless love!
Each child is dear to that heart above;
He fights for me when I cannot fight;
He comforts me in the gloom of night;
He lifts the burden, for He is strong;
He stills the sigh and awakens the song;
The sorrow that bears me down, He bears,
And loves and pardons, because He cares.
Let all who are sad take heart again;
We are not alone in our hours of pain;
Our Father stoops from His throne above;
To soothe and quiet us with His love;
He leaves us not when the storm is high;
And we have safety, for He is nigh;
Can there be trouble, which He doth not share?
Oh, rest in peace, for the Lord will care!
--By Marianne Farningham
"When trials arise that seem unexplainable, we should not allow our peace to be spoiled. However unjustly we may be treated, let not passion arise. By indulging a spirit of retaliation we injure ourselves. We destroy our own confidence in God, and grieve the Holy Spirit. There is by our side a Witness, a heavenly Messenger, who will lift up for us a standard against the enemy. He will shut us in with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Beyond this Satan cannot penetrate. He cannot pass this shield of holy light.
"Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds. He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watch care, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son." -- Steps to Christ, page 100.
"There are songs which can only be learned in the valley. No art can teach them; no rules of voice can make them perfectly sung. Their music is in the heart. They are songs of memory, of personal experience. They bring out their burden from the shadow of the past; they mount on the wings of yesterday.
"Even in Heaven there will be a song that can only be fully sung by the sons of earth--the strain of redemption. Doubtless it is a song of triumph, a hymn of victory to the Christ who made us free. But the sense of triumph must come from the memory of the chain.
"No angel, no archangel can sing it so sweetly as I can. To sing it as I sing it, they must pass through my exile, and this they cannot do. None can learn it but the children of the cross. "And no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth." Revelation 14:3.
"And so, my soul, thou art receiving a music lesson from thy Father. Thou art being educated for the choir invisible. There are parts of the symphony that none can take but thee.
"There are chords too minor for the angels. There may be heights in the symphony which are beyond the scale--heights which angels alone can reach; but there are depths which belong to thee, and can only be touched by thee.
"Thy Father is training thee for the part the angels cannot sing; and the school is sorrow. I have heard many say that He sends sorrow to prove thee; nay, He sends sorrow to educate thee, to train thee for the choir invisible.
"In the night He is preparing thy song. In the valley He is tuning thy voice. In the cloud He is deepening thy chords. In the rain He is sweetening thy melody. In the cold He is molding thy expression. In the transition from hope to fear He is perfecting thy lights.
"Despise not thy school of sorrow, O my soul; it will give thee a unique part in the universal song." --George Matheson
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And He'll give you a new, sweet song.
He'll give it and sing it with you;
And when weakness lets it down,
He'll take up the broken cadence,
And blend it with His own.
And many a rapturous minstrel
Among those sons of light,
Will say of His sweetest music
"I learned it in the night."
And many a rolling anthem,
That fills the Father's home,
Sobbed out its first rehearsal,
In the shade of a darkened room.
He gives us songs in the night and comforts us in sickness, in disappointment, in poverty, reproach, and distress. He bends His ear ever so low to hear our cry, and He sympathizes and soothes the keen anguish of our hearts. He tenderly ministers to us so we can minister and bless others in spite of our circumstances.
"We should not become discouraged and give way to doubt, and think that our prayers are not noticed. We should rely more securely upon Christ and leave our case with God to answer our prayers in His own way. God has not promised to bestow His blessings through the channels we have marked out. The plans of God are always the best although we may not always discern them. Perfection of Christian character can be obtained only through labor, conflict, and self-denial. We do not always count upon this, and do not consider the painful and often protracted process of purifying necessary for us in order that we may be conformed to the image of Christ. God frequently answers our prayers in a way we least expect. He brings us into positions which are the most trying, to reveal what is in our hearts. To further the development of Christian graces He will place us in circumstances which will demand increased exertion on our part to keep our faith in lively exercise." --Steps to Christ, page 313.
"In the full light of day, and in the hearing of the music of other voices, the caged bird will not sing the song that his master seeks to teach him. He learns a snatch of this, a trill of that, but never a separate and entire melody. But the master covers the cage, and places it where the bird will listen to the one song he is to sing. In the dark, he tries and tries again to sing that song until it is learned, and he breaks forth in perfect melody. Then the bird is brought forth, and ever after he can sing that song in the light. Thus God deals with His children. He has a song to teach us, and when we have learned it amid the shadows of affliction we can sing is ever afterward." --Ministry of Healing, page 251.
Many of the sweetest joys of Christian hearts are songs which have been learned in the bitterness of trial. In fact, many of our Christian hymns today were written when the writers were going through times of great disappointment, grief, sorrow, and loneliness.
Joseph Scriven, author of the well known and beloved hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," was a man who had few close friends. He had experienced the sorrows of grief and loneliness. He graduated from college and looked forward to marrying his sweetheart. But the night before their wedding, tragedy struck and his fiancee was thrown from the horse she was riding and into a river where she was drowned. Overcome with grief, Scriven became despondent and introspective and withdrew even more from his few close friends and family.
Later, he moved to Ontario where he worked for the under-privileged of the city. Although he was respected by the people for his deeds of mercy, he was viewed as an eccentric and was not integrated into their fellowship. Nonetheless, he met and fell in love with a young woman and again planned to marry. But before the wedding took place, once more tragedy struck as the young woman contracted pneumonia and died.
About the same time as the tragedy of his fiancee, his mother became gravely ill. Scriven could not afford to travel to see her, so he wrote a poem and sent it to her hoping that it would lift her spirits and comfort her. The poem he wrote for her was "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Click here for lyrics and music of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" --Hymn of Faith and Inspiration.
A personal tragedy that could cause discouragement and depression to anyone was turned into a blessing to the world. As an infant, Fanny J. Crosby was accidentally blinded by a country doctor's application of a mustard poultice to her eyes. Yet she never became bitter or sad. Her spirit was always one of joy and enthusiasm. A poem that she wrote when she was only eight years old seemed to be the theme of Fanny's long and fruitful life:
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't!
To weep and sigh because I'm blind,
I cannot, and I won't!
Fanny wrote over 8,000 hymns. Some of these are:
Tell Me the Story of Jesus
Praise Him, Praise Him!
Draw Me Nearer
Near the Cross
Take the World, but Give Me Jesus
To God Be the Glory
Rescue the Perishing
He Hideth My Soul
Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
Never Give Up
--Hymn of Faith and Inspiration.
"But none saith, Where is God, my maker, who giveth songs in the night?" Job 35:10. To Fanny Crosby, this text was a living experience! Throughout the past century, millions of Christians all over the world have been inspired and encouraged by her words. When she died, six weeks before her ninety-fifth birthday, she left the world a rich legacy of gospel songs written in the night! A downloadable midi and lyrics for 'Never Give Up' are found in The Red Sea Place.
Another amazing woman was Annie Johnson Flint. From a very young age, she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis that left her crippled and unable to rise from bed. To alleviate the pain and discomfort, she rested and slept on soft pillows. Her body developed serious bed sores and finally she suffered the ravages of cancer. Yet her attitude through all the struggles with pain and confinement was that of submission, faith and trust in God to give her the grace and the strength she needed. With a pen pushed through bent and gnarled fingers and held by swollen joints she wrote her verses which provided solace and comfort for herself, her friends, and the world. One such poem was "He Giveth More Grace":
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure;
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.
One day, Annie was visited by a friend--a little, tired, discouraged deaconess. She related her troubles to Annie, and when she left and went back to the west, she wrote Annie saying how blue she felt, and how down hearted, and she didn't see why God allowed such hard things to come into her life. Annie put her answer in a poem. Nothing sweeter ever came from her pen. She titled it: "What God Hath Promised". Lyrics and two different tunes (downloadable midis) are found in My husband John's web page.
Click here for more poems by Annie Johnson Flint.
When night gathers over the garden of our souls, when the leaves close up, and the flowers no longer hold any sunlight within their folded petals, there shall never be wanting, even in the thickest darkness, because drops of heavenly dew falls only when the sun has gone. God is there in the thickest darkness of our lives to give us songs in the night.
"...thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance." --Psalms 32:7
The valley of sorrow and pain;
But the "God of all comfort" was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain.
As the earth needs the clouds and sunshine,
Our souls need both sorrow and joy;
So He places us oft in the furnace,
The dross from the gold to destroy.
When He leads thro' some valley of trouble,
His omnipotent hand we trace;
For the trials and sorrows He sends us,
Are part of His lessons in grace.
Oft we shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Husbandman knows
That the deeper the cutting and paring,
The richer the cluster that grows.
Well He knows that affliction is needed;
He has a wise purpose in view,
And in the dark valley He whispers,
"Hereafter Thou'lt know what I do."
As we travel thro' life's shadow'd valley,
Fresh springs of His love ever rise;
And we learn that our sorrows and losses,
Are blessings just sent in disguise.
So we'll follow wherever He leadeth,
Let the path be dreary or bright;
For we've proved that our God can give comfort;
Our God can give songs in the night.