Night falls, oh yes, it does. The four dark corners untangle from the heavens falling in gentle folds sliding under the stars, and settling with great tenderness on my world covering all the broken pieces of the day with the weight of comfort, and the promise of hope in the new dawn to come.

 My heavenly Father holds the night tenderly in hands; if I listen I can, we can be comforted as he breathes his sweet peace in the hearts of his restless children.

The night; a time of rest and refreshing.
 The night; excitement comes alive and living continues in a different mood and mode.
 The night; your world closes in and hurt and pain fall fresh, shattering the blackness surrounding you.
 The night; fading as day breaks.

Often, when preparing for a time of  deep sleep and recharging; I search and find peace in the Psalms. There, warm reminders permeate body and soul and are as personal as my comfortable fleece throw. "You own the day, you own the night; you put stars and sun in place. You laid out the four corners of earth, shaped the seasons of summer and winter." (Psalms 74:16 MSG) I acknowledge the greatness my God, and I am transported to a place of trust, rest and strength. He possesses my days, nights, all my seasons...my very life, and as in days of old, the words from childhood still bring sweet comfort knowing my Father is near; "Now I lay me down to sleep..."

 Night-life, most often now means the couch and lounge chair with feet extended and heads back, except for nights hubby and I gather with our church family for prayer, praise, and fellowship, with an overarching time of worship. But leaving home in the evening for times of entertainment for entertainment’s sake is coming less and less. I still love a decent movie and enjoy dinner out with good company in a relaxing atmosphere, no after clean-up just a pleasant afterglow, memory making times.

It is lovely walking in our beautiful riverside park in the evenings with the moon reflecting in the black water, while the fountains compete with the stars in their glittering display. Live music of every genre is playing in the background. There is even an old upright piano sitting under a gazebo waiting for some frisky fingers to come to add to the cacophony of music made under the stars. God is pleased with the good happiness of his children as they enjoy the things of the world he has made. 

 Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don’t skimp on colors and scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one! Ecc. 9: 7b-9 (MSG) .......................................not a trite message.

I do understand when experiencing night time refreshments I am extremely blessed. My husband and I still live, and we still love and care for one another. In this stage of our lives, despite our defective hearts, and dropping various body parts as we go; we function. Still experience awe, amazement, and tender times as we live out our years on God's beautiful earth. Especially enjoyable are times of twilight where lingers reflections of the day.

I don't live in a fairy tale, just as most of you, I have known the cold light of day when everything is rough and has sharp edges, I fight the despair that creeps stealthily on me as the sun disappears over the Ohio River and dips behind Indiana. These are the times I long for the Lord's intense touch; his  comfort, his cradling; and for his peace, and  I cannot fully understand his grace as it washes over and through my soul like an unrelenting river. It carries me along on streams of trust to the throne of the one who holds the answers, and eases the pain ; yes, these are nights of another kind indeed, and even then he provides.

"All things seem worse in the night." Nighttime may be a state of mind. No matter the light of day or the season of  life we may find the night can harshly crash to the earth, and bringing fractured pieces of the day ground to ashes, never to be made whole again. Many fragments are too painful to be remembered, others; a living shard piercing physical bodies, emotions, and spirits. Night; the midnight blackness stealing rest and relief, and leaving grief and pain, echoing in the recesses of a wounded heart as it invades our inmost being. I'm not speaking of wallowing in self-pity, but of being overwhelmed, overtaken by life. Swept along by storms rushing down, a homegrown mountain of misery, and erupting ahead of the lava of heartbreak. It is even worse when we bring it on ourselves. Nighttime comes and self-accusation stands in stark relief against the darkness. Although reasons may differ, we can have empathy with David’s plea: "I’m tired of all this—so tired. My bed has been floating forty days and nights on the flood of my tears. My mattress is soaked, soggy with tears. The sockets of my eyes are black holes; nearly blind, I squint and grope." Psalms 6:6(MSG)

There are times I too have owned these "nights of the soul" experiences; only the Holy Spirit living within and amid my turmoil can understand and bring the solace I long for, as well as forgiveness for allowing myself to momentarily lessen my grip on trust. Until I release it to Him the nightmare and dread I can't awaken from goes on.  As humans, we face in due time our final enemy; certain death. A day with no night, a night with no tomorrow on this earth as we step through the gateway. Knowing that heaven is waiting on the other side is our assurance. There are worse things to bear on this earth than the physical act of dying. I often think of the things people I love have borne. In each case, in a short time, the joy of the Lord became revealed through their lives again; they continue on.

Some things we endure can suffocate our happiness (that which depends on happenings) of life almost completely : deceit (a continuous killing,) betrayal (killing of self-worth,) lies (slaying of trust,) abandonment (destroying hope.) To use descriptive words for only these four categories would fill a thousand books. How many ways of deceit are there, how many kinds of betrayal...etc. Our Saviour faced them all. Jesus' prayer, his beseeching, his cry...can I comprehend? "He took Peter, James, and John with him. He plunged into a sinkhole of dreadful agony. He told them, 'I feel bad enough right now to die. Stay here and keep vigil with me.' Going a little ahead, he fell to the ground and prayed for a way out: 'Papa, Father, you can—can’t you?—get me out of this. Take this cup away from me. But please, not what I want—what do you want?' Mark14:34-36 (MSG) Is this a prayer I could pray in of grief, could I surrender my needs?

To find the dawn, to search for the light becomes an all-consuming desire. Through times of faith testing surprisingly; I find opportunity. I come to know the Lord Jesus in a more intimate and trusting way, maybe even deeper than before the suffering and crushing pain. As I pray, listen, and wait, I trust his purpose for my life through this situation.  

In our brokenness, as Christians, if we lean fully on the Lord we are reshaped, and start to resemble him, and awakened to the fact, he is the daylight, he is the song of the morning; he is stability for us in time of rising, and the strong protector of our hearts in the deep, black, midnight, he alone is our heart's joy.

The end of the long darkness, as the stars lose their strength in the rising of the sun, and the dew refreshes the face of the earth the Christian prays: "I have no strength; be my strength. I have no courage, be my courage. I have no will, be my will. I cannot stand under this, be my legs and feet. I have no more tears, hold me. I cannot carry these burdens, carry my load and carry me. As I hide my head in my hands, be the light that slips through my fingers, shine on me, and warm me. Be my life, my self-worth, my trust, and my hope. Cause my adoration for you, my God, to weigh more than my burdens for you alone are the steadfast joy in my heart."

Again he compels us to come to him, bring him our burdens; bring him ourselves. Because of the suffering he willingly endured, and the God he is; he understands our sorrows, and intensely, earnestly desires to bring the peace he has purchased for us. We can give him our night; our peace is in him.  "Once again Jesus spoke to the people. (Including us; the restless in the night) This time he said ‘I am the light of the world! Follow me; you won’t be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.” (CEV ) Emphasis mine.

As our Saviour, he is the light who sheds his presence while driving away any fears hiding in earthly night shadows. He cares for his children through eternity, starting now.  I am assured those who fear— in awesome wonder—their holy God will receive these words, "Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people—God’s grace and mercy and justice! Psalms 112:4(MSG)

This we know and can rely on: "We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again.2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (CEV) 
He brings peace, he is peace. Standing in the cool evening waiting for darkness to fall I sing with the night birds, “When peace like a river…” Ah, to know that river! ```````````````````


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