I am afraid of the night. There. I said it. I have always been afraid of the night, ever since I was small. I think being afraid of the dark is a bit different than being afraid of the night. Ive been in dark places and felt no fear, its when the sun goes down and the world seems somewhat different and unknown, dare I say, unpredictable, as opposed to daytime, that I get really nervous. Sometimes its simply the anxiety of the next day’s requirements looming overhead that cause me to fear. Other times its my imagination running away with itself and conjuring ghastly images from some stupid movie I saw one time that make me afraid. Even today if I sleep alone I leave a light on. Even if Brian is on the couch sleeping (because he is sick!) I still sleep with a light on in the bedroom.
Well, combine this with the fact that I am about to live in a place for 7 full days where there is no electricity you can imagine my nerves as I type this.
Its been kinda embarrassing because when people ask if I am ready for the trip I cant answer YES with my typical whole hearted, enthusiastic abandon that typically personifies my last few days before a mission. The ONLY reason for this is that I am nervous about the nights.
I am nervous most of all about having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the “ladies” which will be a hole in the ground outside my mud hut. I am fully prepared for this (thanks to Karin and Holly )with a head lamp to wear out of the hut into the night to do my “biz” but in all honesty I wish that head lamp shot lasers. And since we will be split up into “guys” and “girls” mud huts, I wont have the luxury of my husband protecting me against the unknown wild African nights. (Though if I scream he better come correct with his kung fu ready!)
So as I have been praying about the trip this week, God spoke to me today through one of my favorites: Charles Spurgeon. I am not surprised, as the Lord tends to use Spurgeon’s wisdom to encourage me immediately preceding previous missions.
Today’s “evening devotion” from Spurgeon begins like this:
“The night is also thine” — Psalm 74:16
Woa. Stop right there. Say no more Lord, your point is already made. THE LORD, JEHOVAH, ELOHIM, EL ELYON, not only created but OWNS the night. My father in heaven, who loves me more tenderly than an earthly father ever could OWNS the NIGHT!!
Why am I so afraid?
I will take this truth, this POWER, with me into the wild unknown nights of Africa and trust that MY DADDY OWNS THE NIGHT and everything in it.
Why Should I Be Afraid?
I wont be.
Yes, Lord, thou dost not abdicate thy throne when the sun goeth down, nor dost thou leave the world all through these long wintry nights to be the prey of evil; thine eyes watch us as the stars, and thine arms surround us as the zodiac belts the sky. The dews of kindly sleep and all the influences of the moon are in thy hand, and the alarms and solemnities of night are equally with thee. This is very sweet to me when watching through the midnight hours, or tossing to and fro in anguish. There are precious fruits put forth by the moon as well as by the sun: may my Lord make me to be a favoured partaker in them.
The night of affliction is as much under the arrangement and control of the Lord of Love as the bright summer days when all is bliss. Jesus is in the tempest. His love wraps the night about itself as a mantle, but to the eye of faith the sable robe is scarce a disguise. From the first watch of the night even unto the break of day the eternal Watcher observes his saints, and overrules the shades and dews of midnight for his people’s highest good. We believe in no rival deities of good and evil contending for the mastery, but we hear the voice of Jehovah saying, “I create light and I create darkness; I, the Lord, do all these things. ”
Gloomy seasons of religious indifference and social sin are not exempted from the divine purpose. When the altars of truth are defiled, and the ways of God forsaken, the Lord’s servants weep with bitter sorrow, but they may not despair, for the darkest eras are governed by the Lord, and shall come to their end at his bidding. What may seem defeat to us may be victory to him.
“Though enwrapt in gloomy night,
We perceive no ray of light;
Since the Lord himself is here,
‘Tis not meet that we should fear.”