Psalm 77:1-2 NIV “I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress I sought out the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and my soul refused to be comforted.”
Psalm 62: 1-2 NIV “My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”
Psalm 46:10 NIV “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
William Herbert Carruth once wrote, “Like tides on a crescent sea-beach, When the moon is new and thin, into our hearts’ high yearnings. Come welling and surging in – Come from the mystic ocean, Whose rim no foot has trod – Some of us call this longing, And others call it God.”
A Dark Night For The Soul
When I was embarking on a new chapter in my life as a college student I was still suffering from depression. This is something I have endlessly fought for most of my life. My mother, who always worked day and night to bring me back to a place of comfort found an NIV Encouragement Bible at the Christian Book Store in Attica.
She handed me this precious Word of God in 2004 and hoped that it would bring my tortured soul some peace in the struggles ahead. Before this, I always had a New King James or a King James Version Bible. I always found that the old English was more fitting for the love letter God bestowed upon His people.
However, the Encouragement Bible helped me to understand where to go when I was hurting, and what to do when the darkness came creeping back.
My life can often be measured in quiet moments, and it is in these moments that my soul cries out to a Heavenly Father to make the pain stop. I stare up at the ceiling with my tear-soaked face wondering why God even bothers with a failure like me.
I have often felt like some unknown force was out to cause me great harm, and it is for this reason that the night held no comfort for me.
Many are afraid of the dark when they are children, and they cry out to their parents to get rid of the monster under their bed. I spent my entire life afraid of the dark, and the monster under my bed never seemed to let me rest.
A Quiet Evening
In the stillness of the sun; as the rays start to pierce through the embers of night’s last breath; the quiet can reach through the darkness and grab the moments that make us feel safe.
The quiet can stop time briefly, and offer my tortured soul some mercy.
Most of my battles have been at night, but many are also in the day. This has often left me feeling like there is no safe place to go.
If this is true then how can I hold up the quiet like its a torch in the darkness? The night and the day hold no place for a child who has been betrayed.
What happens when the child grows up? How does this child see the world? How does this child see God?
The child held on despite the best efforts of the evil done. This child became a teenager, and the teenager spent many years feeling lost. The night and day had not rested for the teenager.
The broken pieces of the child had become broken pieces of the teenager.
The only thing that changed was the loss of hope. The teenager didn’t believe God loved her anymore. She felt judged by her Heavenly Father she once knew as a child.
The child would whisper quietly into the heart it once knew.
Soon the teenager became an adult, and it was from this moment she knew the quiet would follow her. The adult searched for the God she once loved as a child. The God that made her believe in hope.
The adult would listen for the quiet in the night. She would make many choices that made no sense to those who thought she was something she wasn’t. How could they understand? They didn’t know the child. Only the adult knew the child, and only she knew how to protect her.
The Night Train
Once I got into the college life of endless tests, term papers, and trying to have a social life I realized the fear of the monster kept lurking in the corner.
What I thought I had escaped and managed to survive as a child would keep coming back to haunt me.
After a lifetime of keeping myself awake with the fear of being harmed, there was something that offered me peace.
Throughout my life, I have cried out to God. I have slept clinging to my Bible. I have even slept with my cross necklace. The fear of the unknown force began to strengthen as I got older.
One night as I was tossing and turning and crying out for mercy; I noticed the sweetest sound. It was a distant whistle of a night train.
That night train provided me with a comfort that made the monster under my bed disappear. It was soothing, quiet, and spoke only to me.
I would be sure that night train followed me throughout the years to come. It was like an old friend coming by in the late hours to calm me and make me feel safe.
As I moved forward to another chapter of my life I would listen for the night train. Sometimes I wonder if it was the same train, or where the train was heading.
God has a way of sending you messages in a way that will make you feel peace. He has a way to get inside your heart and knows exactly what you need to feel safe. The night train was a message He sent to me, and it helps me every time.
When I moved to my first career job in Fredonia, the night train followed me there. It would pierce through the night air, and that whistle would remind me that there is still hope.
When I moved to Dansville for my next adventure in journalism, I had feared the night train had left me. There was a sense of mourning for that old friend that chased the monster away.
However, when I braved the sky to take my first trip in a Hot Air Balloon over Letchworth State Park it was at that moment my old friend came back.
My old friend could be heard from 2,000 feet in the sky, and just like that my nerves were calm, and I believed that everything would be Okay. My old friend sent me a whistle to tell me that it hadn’t abandoned me and that it would see me again soon.
Shortly after that, I would hear the night train in the late hours, and just like that, I was home again.
Never fear for the Lord God is with you. He watches over you. He loves you. He gives you strength. He often disguises his messages in a way that He knows you will understand. So if you struggle with fear of the darkness and depression, and the monster lurking in the corners of your life; you rest assure that God has a night train for you. Listen to its whistle in the late hours of the night. It will soothe your tortured soul.