What is it about night time?
Ian, a dear young man fights for his life in the ICU all day long. Things look promising. His “numbers” improve. Everyone is hopeful. And then the night comes…and all bets are off. Tomorrow, they do this all over again.
What is it about the night fall? When darkness settles over the land. Things quiet and still.
Oh, in the ICU, nothing stops. Nurses rush in and out. Buzzers beep and indicators signal. Lights are on, though they may be dimmed, because in a split second things must spring to life. Rescuers are poised to respond.
No, there is no rest in the ICU. But somehow night is still there. A young man, fighting a courageous battle, barely knows who comes and goes, but his body knows it. He knows the night and his family prays against its coming.
Why did God make the night?
We’re told in Genesis,
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
But why? Why make the sun to shine on a rotating earth? Why couldn’t we be flat and always illuminated like a grow lamp on a garden? Everything sunny and delightful. Everyone happy and content.
Why is there darkness? Sorrow? Pain? Suffering? Why do we have dark nights of the soul? Depression in our depths? Why do Ian’s numbers plummet at night?
I don’t know. But somehow God has made the night necessary.
In human terms, even plant terms, we need the night time. To grow. To change. To re-orient. To shift. Not even just to rest. Rather, we need the night for night’s sake. Yes, night leaves us vulnerable, robs us of our accustomed visual senses. We grow restless. Fear may come. But we are not “turned off.” Just like the ICU, there is just a different level of processing, a shift in responding, a gearing down but not off. But God created the night and the day; God called the darkness night. Somehow I find that comforting.
For Ian and his family. For all others who walk through the night with a sick child or friend or family member. Even those who walk through times of darkness in relationships, including their relationship with God. I think God is powerfully at work at night. Healing. Holding. Repairing. This may be the hardest work “we” ever have to do. It takes every resource available. Exhausts all our resources. Perhaps that’s why the night comes and why it sets us back.
God promises the new will come in the morning.
This morning I smiled and celebrated a hint of light in the morning skies as my daughter dashed to the high school bus. (That was my only reason for smiling as I had just dragged her out of bed 10 minutes before and did not bring a sunny disposition to the scene.) But, the morning light teased me. It caught me by surprise.
“Look here,” it said. “It’s no longer night time, but day is dawning.”
Ah, the light comes. The springtime beckons. Hallelujah! Everything looks new and promising in the light of the morn. New possibilities. Sparkling and refreshed. God has been working this miracle for me, for us, all winter long.
So to Ian and his family, especially, I pray a beautiful morning sunrise and many, many more. May God work mightily in His healing and the night become the day.