Songs in the Night

1023 words | 4 minutes

Jun 15, 2024

Do you ever gaze at the Moon, wondering why its “face” always looks straight back at you? Doesn’t the Moon rotate? Yes, it does! But … to us on earth, it doesn’t appear to. According to NASA: “The time it takes for the Moon to rotate once on its axis is equal to the time it takes for the Moon to orbit once around Earth, so the same side of the Moon always faces our planet.” The Moon is continually frozen in its gaze, and the dark side of the Moon is ALWAYS dark.

When we lived in Chicagoland, it was our family’s mission to plant a new church in one of the south suburbs. During those days, we needed all the help we could get, so when we heard of three young women that wanted to come help us populate the pews in our baby church, we rejoiced! They lived in (and near) Chicago’s Southside, and we were happy to provide transportation so they could attend services. I especially remember those drives into Chicago to take them home after our evening services. Sometimes, we’d stop at the Prince Castle in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood for some of their square-scooped ice cream or a fresh banana shake. The mmmm-memory lingers still! 

In the car on those late Sunday nights, I can also well remember listening to the strains of “Songs in the Night” as it was broadcast over radio station WMBI. The theme song always moved me deeply: 

“Songs in the night, songs in the night
The Lord giveth songs in the night (the deepest night)
Sorrow may come, days dark and drear
Still He giveth songs in the night.”

Chicago seemed SO dark—especially at night. A deeper dark. I knew there were poor souls in the City who lived in perpetual night—the kind that has nothing to do with the time of day. “Days dark and drear.” As we drove past blocks of endless tenements, I tried to visualize people living where the darkness of sin held the residents captive—like being forced to live on the dark side of the moon, never seeing the light of the sun. I wanted to turn up the volume of that broadcast of HOPE to those who were lost in the night—like aiming a lighthouse beacon over the waves, reaching for souls in the darkness.

The prophet Isaiah gives us curious insight into God’s power when he quotes the LORD, saying: “I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things.” (45:7 ESV) Yes, God created all things that exist, even the darkness, but God never intended nor desired for us to live in the dark perpetually.

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day AND night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22 KJV) 

In the merciful Plan of God, everything runs on a cycle:

  • Although it’s dark right now, the light of dawn IS COMING. 
  • When the winter winds bluster and blow, it’s only for a season. Summer IS COMING. 
  • Even when drought conditions seem to worsen, take heart—it won’t last forever. The rain IS COMING.
  • Yes, clouds have rolled in and everything is enshrouded in fog, but hold on. The skies WILL CLEAR. 
  • Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 NLT)

This continual cycle of life is no coincidence. Like the ebb and flow of the tides—abundance and want, pain and peace, wrestling and rest will come and go. The “cycle” IS the Plan—making us ever stronger. “The strength of a ship is only fully demonstrated when it faces a hurricane, and the power of the gospel can only be fully exhibited when a Christian is subjected to some fiery trial. We must understand that for God to give ‘songs in the night,’ He must first make it night.” —Nathaniel William Taylor, Streams in the Desert

Satan tries to break the cycle by keeping his children in his grip by force—locked in solitary confinement on death row, forever shackled by sin. Continual darkness. Constant night. 

But the LORD of Glory has the opposite plan. Everything in His kingdom is on rotation: 

  • Darkness flees in the LIGHT of God.
  • Confusion and panic evaporate in the presence of the Way-maker. 
  • Grief and sadness disappear at the mere mention of Jesus’ name. 
  • Repentance turns sins from forever … to forgiven, and the irreparable damage of sin is reversed by God’s redeeming grace. 

There WILL be calamity, yes, but IN the calamity, He brings a calm. The strength to endure. A song IN the night.

Every day, Jesus expects us—He CALLS us—to endure hard things. He’s not trying to discourage or destroy us; He is building our TESTIMONY. He teaches us through every difficulty that there is always HOPE! He is quickening our HOPE! 

WHO does this? Only JESUS! “ … God my maker, who giveth songs in the night.” (Job 35:10 KJV)

HOW does He give songs in the night? One way is through the joint cooperation of His WORD and our MEMORY. When we have committed Scripture to memory, God will bring it to our minds at midnight—in our darkest hour and time of greatest need—to bring us comfort and relief in the MIDST of it. The BEST remedy I know for insomnia is to quote Scripture to myself. It brings peace and comfort … and SLEEP … EVERY time.

“Thy statutes have been my SONGS in the house of my pilgrimage. I have remembered thy name, O LORD, IN THE NIGHT, and have kept thy law. This I had (or this was Your gift to me) because I kept thy precepts.” (Psalms 119:54-56 KJV)

Even when the dark clouds have only just appeared on the horizon and we know that hard times are ahead, still we can say with confidence: “THIS I recall to my mind, therefore have I HOPE … His  compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23 KJV)

“Sorrow may come, days dark and drear —
Still He giveth songs in the night.”