I heard Joseph Prince preaching the other night about Paul and Silas (Acts 16:16-40). They were in prison and they were singing. They were experiencing possibly one of the worst moments of their lives and they were worshiping God. It was their midnight and they worshiped with reckless abandon.
There have been many midnights in my life. Divorce. Loss of security. Bad choices. Reckless behavior. All of that and more. I am human. I make mistakes. I also pay the consequences for those mistakes. More often than not the decisions that take me off my straight and narrow path turn into blessings in disguise. Because of my faith in God.
It’s not an unwavering faith but it is faith. I have spent many nights wallowing in self-pity, bawling my eyes out only to see the dawn break through the darkness. I have often turned to other humans, namely my parents and closest friends, for advice on situations before I have turned to God. I will be the first to admit, though it pains me to do so, that I have fallen out of the habit of calling on God first. He alone is my rock and my fortress. In Him I trust.
I have always read the story of Paul and Silas in jail as a more literal tale. They were singing at midnight, and probably annoying the other prisoners by doing so. Until I listened to Joseph Prince digging into the nitty-gritty, I never really considered the metaphorical sense of the verses or how they might apply to my life.
Right now, in my own life, I am facing a midnight. For the last three weeks I have been partially blind in my left eye. I have seen more doctors in the last few weeks than I have seen in probably the last three years. The official diagnosis from a retinal specialist is Idiopathic Subretinal Neovascular Membrane. Basically, my eye has created extra blood vessels under my retina. Those vessels have formed an abnormal membrane that is hemorrhaging, or leaking blood. The idiopathic part means that there is not clear cause. In my case it is most likely due to extreme nearsightedness and too many nights of reading in the near complete darkness. The treatment for this involves three monthly injections straight into my eye. Lasers are not an option because of the close proximity to my optic nerve and the increased chances of total blindness in that eye. The drug they are injecting into my (yes, that is as painful as it sounds) is one that was initially created to kill the tiny vessels that form in tumors in cancer patients, more or less a chemotherapy drug.
To say I was terrified at first would be understatement. I am a mother and the thought of forever losing sight of my boys faces left me crying myself to sleep more nights than I care to admit. I also just graduated from college and have so many opportunities ahead of me. The thought of not being able to live my life to it’s fullest, to live life right, is almost more than I can handle at times. I have to consciously stop myself from spiraling and just breathe.
There are so many verses on healing that I have learned to pray over the years.
- Psalm 30:2 O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.
- Psalm 103:1-4 Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your inequities, heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies
- Psalm 107:20 He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destruction
- Proverbs 3:7-8 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones.
- Proverbs 4:20-22 My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.
- Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inequities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we ARE healed.
- Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me O Lord, and I shall be healed; Save me and I shall be saved, For You are my praise
- Jeremiah 30:17 “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,” says the Lord, “because they called you an outcast saying: ‘This is Zion; no one seeks her.’”
- Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
- Matthew 8:16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick.
- Matthew 14:14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them and healed their sick.
- Luke 5:71 Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
- James 5:14-16 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, announcing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
- Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
But yet, there are times when words escape me, and it becomes near impossible to pray. It is in those times when I cry out to God in worship. I come from a very musical family, and can sing with the best (yes, I am serious). I was also taught how to worship, truly worship my God. I don’t know the purpose behind this midnight. I have no clue how it will turn out in the end. But I know my God will take care of me. I will praise Him through this storm because I know the God of angel armies is ALWAYS by my side.