Isaiah 26:8-9 In the path of your judgements, O Lord, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desires of our soul. My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. (ESV)
I live in a rural community in Washington state with no street lights and few houses around us. In fact, when we moved here from California we stopped going camping altogether, because our home and property felt and looked like a campsite to us! All we had to do was go out on our backyard and sit around the campfire surrounded by large trees and we were one with nature. At night it is so dark and if we are lucky and the skies are clear we are able to stargaze for hours on end as we lay on our blankets on the grass.
Isaiah 26 is titled, You Keep Him in Perfect Peace, so Isaiah is telling us in the midst of the night season, if we yearn for God, He will give us perfect peace. The key to this perfect peace is where and who our focus is on.
In the midst of the storms you are facing, in the midst of the night season you are in, where and who is your focus on?
Who and what is your soul yearning for? Turning to?
Some of our darkest seasons are of our own doing and some are of others doing. Regardless, many of us are covered by night. We are struggling in the dark season of our souls and wondering how and when this will end.
Night seasons are difficult ones. We can feel lonely, forgotten, fearful, broken, and unsure if we will ever get through the difficulties we are facing. When my husband was hospitalized after falling off of a scaffolding a week before, I had no idea where our lives would go from that point. There was one particular night where fear came in like a dark blanket trying to suffocate me and take all life and hope from me. I had just gotten home from the hospital and had been asleep for nearly an hour. My cell phone on the nightstand next to my bed rang and immediately dread filled my heart. As I murmured hello, the night nurse assigned to my husband began to speak and instantly I felt the tension in my body rise. He called to say that my husband’s breathing had worsened and to inform me that they had moved him from the general floor to ICU. As I ended the phone call I sat there in utter shock as I asked myself, “How could this be happening?”
It was then darkness and fear began to roll in and consume my heart and soul. I laid there paralyzed by the fear, unable to move or speak. In that specific moment, the Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to me, “Kristin, get up. Don’t let fear consume your heart and soul. Get up, go to the hospital and pray. Don’t lose hope.” I didn’t realize what would take place over the next twenty-four hours as my husband’s condition worsened and what I did in this moment would make all the difference for me, my peace of mind and I believe for my husband. I chose to wait on God, His timing, and follow His leading each step of the way.
Obedience to Jesus in the dark night season is the anchor we all need to old on to. Each step the Holy Spirit is here to guide and direct us in the dark, all we have to do is listen and obey.
The truth is this, God, the giver of life, is closer to us than the air we breathe and the darkness that surrounds us. Let us not focus on fear, but instead, fix our eyes on Jesus, the Giver of Life, and not on our circumstances. Remember, God has the last word in all our lives.
Questions to ponder this week as we Pause with Jesus:
In the night season, who and what are you yearning for?
Where is your focus?
Whose words are you listening to?
Today meditate on Isaiah 26:8-9 and turn this scripture into a heartfelt prayer of your own.