GOD’S SONG IN THE DARKEST OF NIGHTS
Psa. 40:1-3 ¶ I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the LORD.
David’s life was not all fun and games. He went though some very dark places in his life. His experience with God even in those dark nights of the soul, is what makes his writings so attractive to us today. We can relate to David. His relationship with God sustained him in the darkest of nights, even when he walked through the valley of the shadow of death. All of us go through those dark nights of the soul. Some of those places are darker than others. David Brainerd was a young missionary during the time of the Great Awakening. He went through some very dark times. He was expelled from Yale because of some statements he had made about the dean of the college in relation to the revival. He was also battling tuberculosis which ultimately took his life at twenty nine. He became a missionary to the Native Americans. It was in the battle for his health while living in the wilderness, ministering to the Native Americans that he wrote his journal. To him it was insignificant, his work seemed insignificant. Brainerd’s journal is crediting with playing a huge role in the birthing of the modern missions movement. In his darkest moments, God gave Brainerd a song in the night. That song is still being sung today. Brainerd’s journal has never been out of print since the 1700’s. Check out a brief portion of his words.
“He is able to support the heart under the heaviest sorrows, and to give light in the greatest darkness: he can divide the thickest cloud with beams of heavenly light and comfort: he is one that gives songs in the night, and turns the shadow of death into the morning: he has power to make up the loss of those that are bereaved by the death of the most eminent minister. His own presence with the bereaved is sufficient…
Persons under sorrowful bereavements are ready to go and lay open their sorrows to them that they think will be ready to pity them, though they know they can but pity them, and cannot help them. How much more is here in such a case to induce us to go to Jesus, who is not only so ready to pity, but so able to help, able abundantly more than to fill up the breach, and able to turn all our sorrows into joy!”
He is able to turn all our sorrows into joy!!!. The power of Brainerd’s life is this, the reality of God in the darkest of nights. That is the appeal of his journal. Why have missionaries like William Carey, Hudson Taylor, and Jim Elliott attributed Brainerd’s journal as one of the main tools the Spirit used in inspiring them to go to the nations? It is because Brainerd found the joy of the Lord’s song in the dark night of his soul. Maybe you are in one of those dark nights, if so, listen carefully. You might just hear the joyful sound of God’s Song in the Night.