“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.” Acts 16:25,26
Midnight. It’s the part of a 24 hour span where the view is at its darkest. It’s a claustrophobic space. There was the light of the day that just finished, but it’s out of reach now. And the light of a day that is supposed to come … it can’t be grasped yet. Blackness, inside and out, presses hard and suffocates.
Midnight. It’s a tick on the clock that reminds me the sun is slumbering and can’t be woken. I can’t see anything but the slightest outline of myself. Me. I can only see me at midnight, or at least a version of me that is void of light. I can’t recognize that others may be near by after all. I can’t see if something dangerous is lurking in the shadows. I can feel fear. And the fear is great for the shadows are many.
Midnight. It’s that space where I’m either too tired to make a change … or too afraid. Yet, all I can think about at midnight is everything that is wrong … everything not completed … every ghost of disappointment or echo of shame comes alive at midnight.
After reading yet once again the actions of the early disciples, I have to ask myself, what do I do with my midnights? Often I fret. Sometimes I pray. Were Paul and Silas’s prayers like mine? Help me. Change me. Fix me. Fix others.
Or did their prayers reach outside of their midnight, like those of Jesus? Our Father … in Heaven … YOUR kingdom come … Your will be done …
I don’t find it easy to sing at midnight. But Paul and Silas did. They sang and chains were broken. EVERYONE’S chains were broken. These believers had been locked up. They had been wrongly accused. They had been beaten. Yet they sang about God in their midnight and others were touched.
The foundations of the prison were shaken!
Sing! Sing to God … about God … in the midnight times and watch the very foundations of bondage be shaken. Watch freedom come.
Yes .. .about midnight … beautiful midnight.
My school sings the song, Still, My Soul be Still (link below) often in our chapel services. I have found it especially comforting on days where trying to live Six Minutes at a time is especially daunting … like at midnight.
Wishing you a prison-shaking week!
Still, My Soul Be Still (Song)