Wednesday, Aug. 31
“We must understand that for God to give songs in the night, he must make it night.” –Lettie B. Cowman. Both “songs” and “night” are not necessarily literal in this quotation, but maybe the source of it was a literal event. The occasion that comes to mind is in Acts 16. Paul and Silas had been in Philippi several days when they were followed by a slave girl who kept shouting that Paul and Silas were “servants of the Most High God,” and that they would “tell you how to be saved.” This went on for many days. Paul eventually realized that it was not directed by God, and called for the demonic spirit to come out of her—which it did. The owners of the slave girl seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the Roman authorities. Paul and Silas were severely beaten, taken to jail and put in stocks. And this is where the songs in the night come in. Despite all that happened to them, they prayed and sang songs that were a testimony to the other inmates. About midnight a violent earthquake opened the doors of the prison and the chains of all the prisoners fell off. The jailor was about to kill himself, but Paul stopped him. All the prisoners stayed (converted?), and the jailor and his whole family were converted. There’s a little more to the story, but the point is that our trust in God, our conviction that we are His servants doing His bidding, will produce that kind of response in difficult circumstances. It doesn’t have to be midnight, and it doesn’t need to be in jail. “Night” is anytime we are facing trials, when things seem out of control, when we have to depend on God. “Songs” reflect our faith, our reliance on a powerful and caring God. Keep singing! And as the chorus goes, let our little light shine—all the time.